Service has always been one of my passions, having volunteered with my parents’ humanitarian efforts from a young age. When I heard about Generation. Education. Period. through a friend, I immediately knew I just had to take part. It reignited a spark within me and reminded me of why I joined this school in the first place: to help other people through learning and action. I am excited to see where this focus group will take me in terms of empowering other women, educating them to be safe, and introducing alternative products that promote sustainability. Coming from a developing country, I am not blind to the stigma and dangers surrounding period poverty. I acknowledge the privilege I have been given where I can help make the world a better place for these girls, because they have as much of a right as I do in attaining a proper education and finding our passions so as to create optimal careers that would support their families. The implications of this movement has widespread ripples in the furthering of institutions of underprivileged women. I am genuinely happy to be part of this focus group.
My name is Laranya and I’m 15 years old, currently in Grade 10. I was born in Australia and have lived in Singapore almost my entire life. I’ve been at UWCSEA for almost my entire life, starting in K2, and I had just recently learnt about GEP after the video they made last year. Seeing this video inspired me to try and make some sort of change, even if it was a small one within the school community. I joined GEP at the beginning of this academic year because I have always been interested in promoting gender equality as well as finding more sustainable alternatives regarding menstruation. Being part of Generation. Education, Period has really opened my eyes up to the inequality that women face over something they cannot control. Being part of this group has allowed me to make some sort of difference not just within our school community but also spreading the message to a wider community.
My name is Maya Prakash, and I have been part of GEP since Term 2 of the 2019-20 academic year. I joined GEP because I admire the group’s ability to tackle a relatively niche (yet incredibly important) issue with so much initiative. I had planned to incorporate GEP work into my Project Week trip, where my group members and I would visit our partner organization, the Three Sisters, and help them with menstrual education workshops, as well as introduce them to menstrual cups. Since then, GEP has been one of the highlights of my UWC experience, and has prompted me to actively change certain life habits to live by a more sustainable philosophy, such as switching to menstrual cups instead of pads to manage my periods. I admire the way GEP connects interdisciplinary issues, such as sustainability and gender equality, and hope to further these connections in my time here.
My name is Ran and I am in Grade 10. I joined GEP at the beginning of this academic year. This is because I was interested in how it works in the intersection of environmental sustainability and female empowerment, both of which I am passionate about. GEP also appealed to me because menstrual stigma is an issue relevant all over the world. Even in UWC I hear women and girls whispering about their periods. GEP has contributed to my greater consciousness of how much waste I generate every year, and I have thus made efforts to reduce it, for example by switching from disposable pads to menstrual cups to manage my period. It has also really opened my eyes to how a lot of sustainability planning and charity work focuses too much on male, Western, able-bodied people. Also, I have met some wonderful people. All in all, being a part of GEP has been a wonderful learning and service experience, and I hope to continue my work with it.
My name is Ruby Psillides, and I am a 15-year-old student attending UWCSEA East Campus, Singapore. My dad is a Welsh-Cypriot and my mum is English. I was born in Egypt and later moved to China, then Malaysia, and now Singapore. Attending UWC at a young age and integrating into the school curriculum and service program has been monumental for the development of my identity. Having been on service trips, building reciprocal relationships and participating in events advocating my passions, has helped me understand what I value today. I joined Generation Education Period because of their mission – it aligns with the concepts of Gender Equality and Girls Education – topics I’ve been passionate about since I was a little girl.
Working with inspirational role models working hard to eradicate period poverty and menstrual shaming is eye opening, and it inspires me about the power I have right now to make a change. It has made me so proud to be part of the movement to change society’s perspective when it comes to menstruation, while also being aware about sustainability – finding new Zero Waste alternatives in menstruation products such as Freedom Cups, and advocating for it to become the norm in modern society is a giant leap in that direction.
My name is Srishti. I am a 15 year old student in 10th grade at UWCSEA East. I was born in Singapore, and later moved to China, Malaysia, Singapore again, Hong Kong, London, and now I’ve moved back here. I joined GEP at the beginning of this year. I’ve always been passionate about gender equality and embracing femininity and joining this focus group allowed me to broaden my interests and develop a passion for normalising periods and empowering women. Joining Generation. Education. Period. has also opened my eyes to the importance of sustainability when managing our periods – using products such as Freedom Cups, which greatly benefit our planet. I am extremely grateful to be a part of this group, and advocate for the eradication of menstrual shaming in our society and period poverty on a global scale.
My name is Brooke Cohen, I am 16 years old, and I have been a member of GEP for five years. I joined GEP in middle school when we were sewing sanitary napkins, and have loved seeing how far we have come over the last several years. I believe our solutions very much align with the UWC mission as it has holistically looked at how to tackle the issue from a social, economic, and environmental lense. I believe period poverty and menstrual shaming are such important issues as they have such detrimental consequences, and yet these very issues are not widely known to the public eye. I am very excited about the year ahead, as last year we ended the year with a newly created partnership with Empowering Women of Nepal! I have loved being part of this group because of our shared passion for solving the issues we tackle.