Being a part of GEP has been one of the most enriching experiences in the ten years I have spent at UWCSEA East. From the moment I learned about the issues that GEP centered around — menstrual shaming and period poverty — I knew I couldn’t stand by and allow them to continue without hindrance. Every year, I have watched our group grow from a small group of passionate middle schoolers trying to hand-sew sanitary pad kits to a team of diverse, passionate students that have formed sound connections with sustainable stakeholders and have nurtured a plurality of successful and planned projects to instigate change. Having assumed both leadership and follower roles within the service, I have had the opportunity to view the workings of the group from all angles, and the intricacy and thoughtfulness that runs within each member. GEP has left an imprint on me that I hope to bring with me everywhere: the lessons learned from challenges and contentment birthed from all of the small victories are what I’ll take with me to wherever I go in the future.
GEP has played a large role in influencing my interests and goals for the future. It strengthened my passion for gender equality, and inspired me to do research in other aspects of women’s healthcare. For me, the best part of GEP is getting to be surrounded by like-minded people who aren’t afraid to talk about taboo topics, such as periods. I also had the opportunity to see how GEPs sustainability projects, such as partnering with freedom cups, motivated people in our school to start using sustainable menstrual products.
GEP has been a huge part of my journey in high school. Being involved in this incredible cause has been one of the most memorable experiences and it has inspired me in aspects that I didn’t even know I was passionate about. GEP has raised awareness and tackled issues I had no knowledge about prior to being a part of this group. There have been many thought-provoking instances where I have to learn how to innovatively tackle issues regarding menstrual shaming and period poverty in our school. Being involved in this process of advocating this issue and making a change has developed me into a better person and it has certainly been an incentive for my aim to live sustainably in all aspects. The values I acquired from GEP have been a part of me in my high school experience and I am certain that I will carry those values in the future.
I have had the privilege of being a part of GEP for the last few years and I’m so happy that I chose to commit to being a member of such a revolutionary group. Prior to learning about period poverty and menstrual shaming, I’d say I was quite ignorant about the matter and often took my privilege for granted.