The title is completely misleading. Mabel is not a person, but the name of an inspirational organisation set up by Lauren Mellor, and it provides girls and women with reusable feminine hygiene kits - teaching women’s group to sew the kits and empowering women and girls with menstrual lessons. Forty million girls and women around the world are affected by period poverty. It all sounds so basic to us, but is one of the largest reasons why girls miss often up to a week of education per month, due to menstruation.
The taboo surrounding periods and a lack of menstrual and feminine hygiene education has resulted in girls and women feeling embarrassed and ashamed during their menstrual cycle. The Mabel Project provides sustainable feminine hygiene kits and menstrual education to girls and women in rural communities teaching them how to take care of themselves during menstruation, as well as how to use the reusable ‘kits’ that come complete with re-washable flannel liners - saving money on sanitary products and a genius way of using up leftover pieces of fabric. The kit also come with a care and cycle card, together with soap, a zip lock bag, panties and a brightly coloured drawstring bag.
All our staff at the school took part in the teacher training session given by Lauren. The teachers then in turn, took it in turns to teach their newly learnt knowledge to the older girls and boys. Initial embarrassment and awkwardness was soon overcome when the mantra ‘it’s natural and normal’ was repeated over and over again. Lauren was particularly delighted that our two male teachers also joined in with training, so dispelling any ‘taboo’ that surrounds the subject. When the female teachers told of their own personal stories growing up and the trouble they had with this subject, all other staff and pupils alike took note. A highly informative and productive afternoon was had by all. Team Bushbells donated one hygiene kit to each of the school staff, and they also left with teacher / trainer notes to use in the future, to pass on to their own communities.
Bushbells are also delighted to think that in the future, they will be able to provide ‘Mabel’ with sufficient fabric for the drawstring bags - using up yet more of our fabric leftovers! Zero waste at Team Bushbells.
Read more of Lauren’s inspirational work at something-ventured.com. Empowering girls and women strengthens communities, and this afternoon’s teacher/training session took a massive step forward to achieving this goal. Our thanks to Lauren and her team for the inspiration work they do.