Westside Middle School Academy

The Sanitary Sisters: Break the Silence

We are delighted to share a blog written by student Makayla, from Westside Middle School Academy, who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2021-22 GSL Global Goals Competition.

Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community!

“It was a great experience working with my peers to address period poverty and really make a difference in our community”

Project Summary

We have learned that in our community there was a problem with the lack of access to period products in schools. We believe that working on this problem directly addresses the Global Goals #1 No Poverty and #5 Gender Equality. There have been events where we ourselves have been affected by the absence of these necessary products in the bathrooms of our schools.

What our project does for our community, more specifically to the girls in our school, is help them have access to menstrual products in a consistent and private way. This will be executed by installing a dispenser from the company we have partnered with, Aunt Flow. We will receive this dispenser by the end of April and we will place it in our school’s main girl’s bathroom. This will help girls to have access to period products and assist them in not having to worry about period products.

The Journey

While participating in the GSL Global Goals Competition, we, the Sanitary Sisters, have developed a sense of responsibility among ourselves. We have experienced period poverty and the lack of menstrual products and took it upon ourselves to speak up. We have developed teamwork while working together towards our goal.

By doing this project, we have learned that many people do not know what a girl’s reproductive system looks like or what it is. Due to COVID-19, menstruation and the developing body weren’t even discussed in our school until we brought it upon ourselves when we gave presentations about our project to our gym classes. Our biggest challenge was raising more money to continue our project in the future. We will overcome our challenge by bringing and introducing our project to incoming middle schoolers and inspiring the students of Westside Middle School Academy to continue our journey once we leave middle school.

The Next Chapter

Our next big step is to inspire the future students of our school and to eventually install more dispensers throughout the different bathrooms in our school and surrounding schools. Our presentations have already inspired other students in our school to continue with the Sanitary Sisters group.

We plan on reaching out to our student council to make fundraisers, potentially selling roses like we did, for the funding of more products or dispensers. In the time we have left in our school we will work very hard to make sure that this project carries on and makes our school a better place. Our vision is that Westside Middle School Academy will be a more comforting place for the female students in our school. Having the dispenser in our main bathroom and hopefully, in the future, we could have another dispenser to make it more accessible to the 8th-grade girls during their core classes. Our main goal is to get the girls in our school the supplies they need and make them aware they have our full support.