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Period poverty and shame had been an issue of national importance for many years however it was worsening due to the cost-of-living crisis. More young people were experiencing anxiety and indignity each month and missing school classes.  

Giving youth a voice and a platform to address those in power was a catalyst to the success of the program. iRise brought together over 600 young people and 17 charities to take action, creating the ‘Every Period Counts’ campaign.  

The Modibodi Game Changer Grant helped to host & establish: 

  • The Empower Period “Summit” 
  • Co-production workshop & activities via “Our Voice Heard” 
  • The Empower Period Committee 

The campaign enabled a nationally representative survey with over 1,000 girls and young people also collected over 600 the period ‘horror stories’.  

Here are just a few stories shared by young people during the campaign: 

“I’d use one of my socks from that day overnight and then go to school the next day using the second sock from the day before. I didn’t really have a choice because I couldn’t get pads and toilet paper wouldn’t hold but my socks absorbed, and I wasn’t creating any more washing. The [free period product] scheme was out 4 years and I’d never heard of it.” 

“At school, I asked a male teacher to go to the toilet as I thought, I was starting my period. He denied me the right to go to the toilet unless I explained why I should go during a lesson. I refused as I shouldn’t have had to explain myself as to why in front of everybody. I told my teacher aside why I needed to go to the toilet and he replied with, “You should know when your period is coming.” 

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