Mission Menstruation is proud to highlight Pad the Mitten, an organization founded by one of our own national team members – Nama Naseem!
Nama founded Pad the Mitten in her undergraduate career at Michigan State University. The club is a chapter of PERIOD, a national organization that fights for period equity. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the club met in person to create packs of pads and tampons to distribute to homeless shelters and others in need. Throughout the pandemic through the present, they mail these products to families in need.
Pad the Mitten holds educational events, highlighting topics such as options for reusable period products, international views on menstruation, foods to help period cramps, and many more! They also have held several advocacy events where members write to Michigan legislators to remove the tampon tax and provide free period products to schools. While working to found Pad the Mitten, Nama realized that the difficulties in accessing products are attributed to period stigma.
After graduating from Michigan State University in 2020, Nama furthered her work and independently created a free youth period education program for elementary and middle school students. The topics include the menstrual cycle, menstrual hygiene management, and period poverty. The interactive program encourages discussion between both menstruators and non-menstruators, normalizing periods as a topic in conversation.
With the help of Honor Community Health, the program was approved at the end of 2021 by the Pontiac School Board to be incorporated into their district’s sexual health education. In March 2022, the first lesson was taught! A health educator from Pontiac Public Schools said, “It was really awesome to see how much all the students opened up and saw how this is not a taboo topic.” As the students grow up, Nama hopes they will feel comfortable advocating for their own health and rightfully demand that products be freely available and affordable to all.
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