Adolescence is a crucial stage of life and one that is challenging for most adolescent girls because of its physical and psychological changes. One of the major physiological changes in adolescent girls is ‘menstruation’. Today in Nepal, menstruation is not only a health concern, but also an educational policy concern, which has become a key factor in the country’s bid to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2015.
In Nepal, millions of girls and women are subjected to restrictions in their daily lives simply because they are menstruating. Girls do not get proper menstrual management in school resulting in school absenteeism, women face disgrace of dignity in corporate organizations due to lack of separate and hygiene toilets and the services provided to them resulting in low productivity.
Priority should be given in promoting girl child education in Nepal because female schooling is thought to be important for a variety of development outcomes. The Raising Clean Hands report issued by UNICEF states that, for every 10% increase in female literacy a country’s economy grows by 0.3%. The economic benefits of investment in sanitation have also been proven by reports from UN-Water, which show increase of $3 to $34 per every $1 invested, leading to a gross domestic product increase of 2-7 per cent.
The Nepali word ‘MITINI’ which literally means ‘friendship’, is an initiative of MITRA Samaj aimed to provide a Feminine Sanitary Services to all females in workplaces, educational institutions, restaurants and retail service outlets. MITINI was launched on International Women’s Day (8th March, 2015). The initiative is about making modern sanitary napkins available in the girl’s toilets constructed in rural school to create an environment where girls can have easy access to modern sanitary napkins and have safe menstrual management. Similarly, the initiative is also about offering waste disposing management services in corporate houses o create a favorable working environment for working females.
The goal of this project is to retain school enrolment and reduce absenteeism among adolescent girls by making modern sanitary napkins easily available to them along with providing well managed menstrual management services in corporate house to make conducive working environment.
Objectives of MITINI
The main objective of MITINI is to provide hygienic menstrual solutions to young girls aged (10 to 25 years old) enrolled in schools, in both rural and urban to reduce school absenteeism and improve their self-esteem and confidence along with providing well managed menstrual facilities for working women.
The specific objectives of the initiative are as follows:
- To improve school attendance among girls between the ages of 10 and 25 enrolled in schools of rural Nepal (Note: Some girls enroll in schools are up to the age of 25 in rural areas of Nepal)
- To increasing access to modern sanitary napkins among young school girls along with comprehensive menstrual hygiene management knowledge
- To improve self-esteem of adolescent school going girls
- Ensuring proper menstrual management of girls’ toilets, restrooms and washrooms constructed in different schools
- Ensuring proper menstrual management of females’ toilets, washrooms and restrooms of workplaces
- Proper disposing of the used sanitary napkins to prevent possible health hazards
How Does It Work?
MITINI SANITARY BIN SERVICE
Placement of Sanitary Bins
MITRA Samaj will place a dedicated sanitary bin in female restrooms/washrooms or toilets of its client’s restaurants, private or public companies, corporate houses. In case of multiple number of female restrooms/washrooms or toilets, separate sanitary bins will be paced. The dedicated sanitary bin will contain messages of utilizing the bin along with educational information.
Collection of Used Sanitary Pads
Trained female staffs from MITRA Samaj will be deployed for the collection of used sanitary pads on alternate days. They will collect the used sanitary pads from all restrooms and washrooms in the used garbage bags.
The collected used sanitary pads will be transported to MITRA Samaj’s office through a MITINI Van.
Disposing of Used Sanitary Pads
Trained female staffs will aggregate all the collected used sanitary pads for proper disposal. They will aggregate all the used sanitary pads to sterilize them. Autoclave’ a pressure chamber is used to sterilize supplies.
At least one girl from a senior class is appointed as ‘MITINI DIDI’ in the selected school. The selected student (MITINI DIDI) will be given basic training on health and hygiene, specifically on Menstrual Hygiene Management.
Menstrual Hygiene Management Kit (which includes first aid and sanitary napkins) are handed to the MITINI DIDI in schools to ensure its proper distribution and monitoring of menstrual hygiene management in the relevant school.
Distribution of Sanitary Pads
Funds generated from MITINI initiative were used to distribute sanitary napkins as post earthquake relief in Rasuwa, Karve, Nuwakot, Dhading, Gorkha, Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha and Kathmandu.
MITRA Samaj through MITINI initiative has been managing the sanitary pad requirement for the adolescent girls and staffs of Nepal’s Children Organization (Balmandir) since International MH Day, 28th May, 2016.