Eco Femme's latest news
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Periodically Newsletter
Welcome to the spring equinox and our first newsletter of this year🌷
Spring equinox is a really special time where day and night, light and dark, are in balance. This cyclical phenomenon is experienced no matter where you live. It marks a turning point followed by the slide into summer in the northern hemisphere, while in the south, the days will begin to shorten as the nights get longer. Balance, while much sought after, seems to be elusive and ephemeral in these intense global times, at least that’s how it seems to me. I wonder how you feel these days and how you find balance when the waves are pounding?

At Eco Femme, a lot has happened since we last connected. We are glad to be picking up pace with the Pad for Pad Programme as schools are finally
re-opening and partners are keen to get back into the classroom. We are also thrilled to welcome Lakshmy Das who is replacing Sugandha as the new Pads for Sisters coordinator.

A highlight for us was that we celebrated our 12th birthday last week🍰 and that we also moved into a new office! We are all enjoying the much needed extra breathing space as our old premises - as charming as they were - were simply too small for us. We'll tell you more about it further down

Keep reading to find out more about our Indigo Limited Edition which is available only till Tuesday night!

Sending our love and best wishes that you find enough balance to keep smiling in the midst of it ALL. 


Kathy 
(co-founder)


http://arunodhayacentre.in/

Pad For Pad Programme
 Restarting in schools!
We are so glad to see our partners restarting menstrual education in schools again as these have  finally 
re-opened..
Meet our Chennai-based partner organisation Arunodhaya which organises menstrual health sessions for adolescent girls in schools and communities. They received 750 cloth pads from us that  were distributed in 11 communities and 10 schools.

Their team recently conducted a campaign for adolescent girls and their mothers, focusing on cycle awareness, reproductive health, a product analysis of existing menstrual products and how they impact our health and environment. Many of the participants shared that before the session, they were unaware of what actually happens in their bodies. They expressed how much this session helped them to understand the importance of their menstrual health and the need to open up conversations between mothers and daughters.

One mother shared that she always hushed her daughter asking questions related to her periods but that now "... the session opened my eyes and I feel proud of my period." 😍
https://goo.gl/maps/tN2PmpEanAZdArDa9

Our NEW office!

We moved to Auroshilpam -woohoo! - only 1,5 km from our old location 😉

We are so happy with more light, more space:
  • we have rooms for sales, communication and the menstrual education team,
  • a good stock room for all our fabric and pads,
  • a beautiful porch at the entrance to welcome visitors,
  • aaaaand, a couch to rest from time to time, hehehe!
An office tour video will come next week on our social media. Stay tuned!

You are always most welcome to drop by to learn about cloth pads, our educational work and get cloth pads and nappies :)

Hope to see you soon! 😘
indigo pads

Limited Edition Indigo Pads
Only till Tuesday night!

Currently, we are running a re-edition of our Indigo cloth pad range. It's a limited edition available only on our website till Tuesday night.

These pads have all been hand-block printed and carry all of the goodness that the natural indigo dye brings!

They all come with a leak-proof layer at the back and are still available in:
🩸🩸 Day Pad (2 different patterns)
🩸🩸🩸Day Pad Plus
🩸🩸🩸🩸 Night Pad

👉Check out these beautiful indigo range pads on our online shop till March 22nd.

Find them here
team retreat

Team retreat 
Time for some sisterhood!

In February, we enjoyed a half day team retreat which was a much needed bonding time after a turbulent few months.

We rested together while listening to a powerful interview between Claire Dubois - founder of social change and reforestation charity called TreeSisters, and Milck - an inspiring singer song writer whose song Quiet became  an Anthem for women during Women's March - a worldwide protest that followed the inauguration of president Donald Trump in 2017.  

During the interview, Milck describes her journey to liberate her voice and the whole interview echo's themes that are universal for women everywhere seeking to free ourselves from painful past experiences to live the fullness of who we sense ourselves to be. We hope you find both the song and interview to be as catalytic as we did.
Listen to it

Partnership with Pondicherry NCC
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A journey of learning and sharing: NCC Puducherry x Eco Femme

In December 2020, Colonel Piyush Srivastava from National Cadet Corps (NCC), Puducherry approached us to explore a collaboration to offer menstrual health education and train young women cadets to become peer menstrual educators. This was a novel idea that was not only radical, but also of a profound impact. Cadets from four different colleges in the region were selected to be trained under Kalvi, our MHM facilitator, in order to equip themselves with necessary skills and information to deliver the message effectively. Of the 83 cadets who attended the first session, 23 participants volunteered to take up a further intensive training programme to become facilitators. The cadets were within the age group of 19 and 21.
The modules of the training programme were tailored to make the sessions interactive, meaningful, and impactful. The cadets were trained on how to create a safe space, followed by a training on female anatomy and the menstrual cycle. Further, they learned about how to talk about menstrual health and hygiene practices. The cadets were then trained on how to do a product analysis and a reflection on cultural practices around menstruation. Post the training, the cadets were asked to conduct a menstrual health session with their close friends, neighbours and families so as to become more acquainted with the process of delivering a session. The training programme came to a culmination with the cadets visiting Eco Femme and sharing their experience on how their learning process was and where they require support. 
NCC girls training Pondicherry
The programme has been a success in terms of its outreach and impact, despite the fact that the activities were limited by the pandemic. So far, more than 800 students have attended the MHM sessions offered by the 23 cadets across Pondicherry. Though the primary agenda of the collaboration was to build a group of peer educators, in the bigger picture, the programme has helped to train young women to become MHM educators, who can serve the society for the many years ahead in many diverse social and geographical areas.  

Art Corner
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Educational art by our French ambassador Elena Riu

Elena Riu created this series of drawings called, 'My Dear Self'. These educational and body literacy cards are for girls and women of all ages to empower and celebrate body sovereignty in a gentle and age-appropriate way.  Some are interactive - to colour and fill in the names of featured body parts - and some are greeting cards with blank spaces for a message or blessing. Elena created these to help girls learn to love themselves.
"My Dear Seasons" is a menstrual Cycle Awareness image inspired by the Red School model - we love all what the Red School teaches! It is a guide into seasonal living and cycling for girls and women everywhere.
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"My Dear Womb" was made for girls and their mothers to see a "friendly, sweet and poetic representation of the sacred space of their wombs".

Elena shares, "Much of our reproductive anatomy is hidden and when young girls are shown any material it tends to be too graphic or scary and  they simply disconnect.  Between the ages of 8 and 13, girls are very close to the animal world. Through this card, I want them to love their wombs as much as they love their favorite pet!"

You can order these cards (A6 format) and see more cards by emailing her at [email protected]

She is also facilitating an online course called "Creating Yoga, Mindfulness & Coming of Age Circles for Girls" to support girls navigate through puberty (8-12 years)  in June. Check it out!

Listening Corner
Menstrual products and their disposal
Watch here
Kathy's recent TEDx Talk

Cloth for menstruation deserves a seat at the table! This is the claim that our co-founder Kathy makes in this talk recorded last December for TEDxMVJCE.  

She explains what has made us hesitant to take cloth seriously and why it is more important than ever to reconsider this tried and true practice of using cloth that was the preferred method before the arrival of disposable sanitary napkins in the marketplace. She makes a compelling case weaving together different "red threads" that explore the roots of our suspicion of cloth and why the wisdom of our Grandma's may have special relevance for our times - take a listen!  
How did Eco Femme get started?

As this month, it is our 12th birthday 
- Happy birthday to us!! 🙌 - here is a 20 minute podcast made by Auroville Radio interviewing our co-founder Kathy about  how and why Eco Femme was started and how cloth pads are a solution to a "Natural Problem".
Listen here
Menstrual products and their disposal

Reading corner 
Eco Femme, a flower from Auroville

Auroville celebrated it's 54th birthday on February 28th. While Auroville is going through a turbulent time, there is much for us to be grateful for in this special relationship that has informed our choices, values and actions at Eco Femme.

In this blog,  our co-founder Kathy shares this back story and some of the ways that Eco femme has evolved as a 'Flower of Auroville'.
Read it here
Eco Femme, a flower from Auroville

Coming and going
Lakshmi and Kathy
Pranathi & Lakshmy
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Sugandha
Mid February, our dear Sugandha left our team to move to Bangalore. She had been with us for 2 amazing years! One year, working remotely from Delhi due to COVID and one year at our office in Auroville. We're missing her for all the joy and fun she was always bringing to the office! 
Bye Sugandha!!! 👋 Come back soon to see us
(PS: Check out her little  business of reusable cutlery and straws on Instagram)

Meanwhile, we welcomed Lakshmy! 💃She has been our Eco Femme ambassador, Pad for Pad and Pads for Sisters partner for years, so she brings in a tremendous amount of lived experience. She deeply understands our work and values  and  is  very passionate about  menstrual education. And, as you can see on the picture -which was taken well before she joined our team- she has no problems at integrating into the team! #sisterhood 😀
Visit our website and our online shop: www.ecofemme.org
 
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Eco Femme, Saracon Campus,
Kottakarai (near Ganesh Bakery)
Auroville
Tamil Nadu
605111
India

Eco Femme,  Auroshilpam (old Inside India), Auroville, Tamil Nadu, 605101, India
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