"Hello adolescence" program
African girls grow up in the shackles of tradition and taboos without any information about their own bodies, the processes that take place in them, and they experience them assin, uncleanness, shame. They become mothers, often at 12 or 15, with no idea what's happening to them, what's happening to their bodies, their bodies. Speaking about women's things, locals say it's "not advisable, it's bad for girls”. But the most feared thing is that girls "don't bring shame on their parents." They don't even connect the lack of information to the possibility of "falling into shame."
Menstrual hygiene is a luxury in much of Africa. Many girls do not go to school during menstruation, miss out on learning, can not perform well. Nearly 25% of girls drop out of school after their first menstruation and get married at a young age, almost as a child. This is accompanied by the fact that in West Africa, more than 75% of girls and women over the age of 15 have had a form of female genital mutilation, a tradition in countries independent of religion and tribe.
Through the MFM-Projekt Cycle Show® we teach all this knowledge in a playful, interactive way in Mali, Senegal and Ghana, linking it to a health hygiene education and teaching how to make washable sanitary pads.
The central idea of the MFM Project®, presented by the Foundation with the permission of dr. med. Elisabeth Raith-Paula, is that theself-image and sense of life of adolescent girls is largely determined by how they experience and appreciate their bodies, what messages they hear about their bodies - and thus about themselves. The MFM-Projekt Cycle Show® is designed to reinforce the uniqueness and wonderfulness of the functioning of their own bodies in the participants, so that apositive attitude and body image can beformed. Within the framework ofthe spectacular, excitinginteractive presentation, the so-called "Cycle Show", the presentation of bodily processes and cycle events, in addition to reason, mainly focuses on emotions. The program also provides information that is not yet part of everyday knowledge. We present this in a way that is adapted to local customs and possibilities- without judgment or anything in a negative light, specifically highlighting the areas of particular importance in the country.
During the program, we make sure that the girls feel valued, special, "victorious"! We believe that learning how their bodies work, what the function of some parts of their body is, that what happens to them in a cycle is not a sin, not uncleanness, but a miracle of life, nature, helps them to eliminate entrenched habits over time, change beliefs, taboos and help them develop healthy self-image, self-esteem, mental health, and body integrity.