Summer CSGC Grant Update: The ME Box Project

For many people from developed countries, it is hard to imagine experiencing menstruation without the aid of menstrual products such as sanitary napkins and tampons. It is even harder to imagine experiencing such at school or a place of work. Unfortunately, young women and girls from developing countries, especially in the Caribbean, are subjected to this outcome of period poverty. In addition to inequitable access to menstrual products, young girls face menstruation stigmas that perpetuate harmful attitudes towards menstruation, often deeming the natural cycle as “unhygienic.”

Thus, the issue of involuntary free bleeding by young girls also stems from another problem, a lack of proper education on menstruation among youth. Growing up in the Caribbean, the advent of menstruation was a hallmark of the possibility of pregnancy rather than a regular phenomenon.

To solve this issue, I launched the ME (Menstrual Equity) BOX Project which provides menstrual products to young girls in Dominican schools. The focus, this summer, was to construct five ME Boxes to be used in schools in the upcoming academic school year. Each box is equipped with a selection of menstrual products, primarily sanitary napkins and tampons, and informational pamphlets on the menstruation cycle.

The ME Box aims to provide young women with the resources needed to have safe and healthy menstrual cycles and consequently create equitable access to these resources. My hope is that one day, the need for such programs will become obsolete and that the ME Box will be a small steppingstone to the greater goal of social equity in Dominica and by extension, the Caribbean.

-Kerelle ‘24