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On 19 October, two days before the official start of SACOSAN V, WSSCC and its partner Lumanti, led by its Executive Director Lajana Manandhar, led a "trainer the trainers" session on Menstrual Hygiene Management for some 30 representatives of Nepalese NGOs. The diverse group included 20 women and 10 men from all regions of the country.
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council is a long-time partner in sanitation and hygiene work in South Asia and a co-founder of the SACOSAN process has a multi-faceted engagement with a special focus on equity and inclusion at this year's event. Lumanti works for the improvement in the quality of life of the urban poor and marginalized people, and Ms. Manandhar was named in December 2012 by the Government of Nepal to the national working group formed for the preparation and implementation of SACOSAN V.
WSSCC works with capacity building and awareness raising on menstrual hygiene management, because widespread ignorance of menstrual hygiene negatively impacts the well-being of adolescent girls and women, and contributes to their marginalisation.
WSSCC's Archana Patkar, programme manager for WSSCC, says the issue s sis important "because of the taboos and shame linked to menstruation, along with the silence, and global neglect of this basic human need, women and girls are often ashamed of their bodies and unable to speak about their very real and practical needs.”
Today's session, which also featured WSSCC National Coordinator for India Vinod Mishra and two women who participated in MHM training in India last month, used presentations, dialogue, newly developed WSSCC training materials, and other methods to build capacity of the Nepali participants.
The idea is that they can then go to their respective communities and work, as does WSSCC, to break the silence around menstrual hygiene, to help others to manage menstuation hygenically and safely, and to support safe disposal options.
Eight of the Nepali trainers were then selected to carry out further training for all interested SACOSAN participants during the conference from 22 to 24 October 2013 in Kathmandu.