Slum Soccer

Girls Reached in 2018: 3031
2019 Target: 1500

Slum Soccer is an initiative that uses football, a game that transcends gender, caste, religion, and language, to enact change in the lives of young people.

WASH United partnered with Slum Soccer to develop and test a low-cost and easy-to-use MHM education guide that allows organisations across India to provide compact menstrual hygiene education to girls between the ages of 10 and 17. The guide uses storytelling, activities, games and positive messaging to teach girls what menstruation is, how to manage it hygienically, and most importantly it empowers them to address stigma and taboos, and it was rolled out to 22 schools in Nagpur, India as part of The Good Menstrual Hygiene Management project.

The project ran from April to December 2018 and had three phases: the development of the MH education programme, the training of educators, and implementation of the programme in schools. Girls who received this education took part in ice-breaking football life skills lessons, trust-building football-based MHM games, and even the first MHM Cup tournament in November. The MHM Cup brought together over 150 girls from all over Nagpur and its surrounding areas, with the Nagpur team winning the tournament.

“These girls are now more open to talk about periods,” says Director of Slum Soccer Abhijeet Barse. “They are not hesitating to ask difficult questions. Even among girls it was very difficult to open such a topic, but now we see that they don’t shy away, they also don’t shy away from sharing their information. This has turned out to be one of the most important programmes for us now.” The success of the programme is clear. 76% of participating girls feel it’s easier to talk with their female peers about menstruation and they feel more supported, 71% of girls said they learned that periods are normal, and 70% report changing their pad or cloth more frequently since receiving their MHM training.

May 2018 saw the first ever Menstrual Hygiene Day Festival hosted by Slum Soccer. It brought together girls and their mothers to smash taboos and spark open dialogue about periods, with a gynecologist in attendance to educate participants about menstrual health. The three-day event included a creative poster competition, an advocacy day, and a football tournament.

Slum Soccer continues to empower young leaders to create positive change in their communities, and we can’t wait to see how the MH education programme continues and grows in 2019!

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