While we were in Liberia this past February, we joined Steven Stauffer, Gender Coordinator for Peace Corps/Liberia, to hold a menstrual cup distribution which included an educational component. Most of the young ladies in attendance were college students and better educated than the rural fistula survivors we encountered. Still, they recalled having to figure things out on their own, or with the help of a female relative - typically an older sister, and not really understanding what was happening to their bodies. They spoke of missing school as well. All too often, this can start a downward spiral that ends with a young girl dropping out of school. Fortunately, this was not the case with the menstrual cup distribution attendees.
Even though this group of young ladies already knew what to expect each month, the educational piece included lessening the taboo of speaking about the woman’s monthly cycle, and provided an opportunity to ask questions that had not yet been answered. The presentation also included instruction on how to use and maintain the menstrual cups. With proper care, they can last up to 10 years, so this can be a huge money-saver.
I interviewed three of the young ladies in attendance.