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Educating girls: from shame to connection

17 Aug

In the camp on Lesvos, many girls arrive without their parents or guardians. These teenagers are walking around with the same questions as their peers in other places in the world. What changes are taking place in my body? What is menstruation? And what happens during childbirth?

The difference with their peers is that these girls are on the run, without the guidance of their parents or guardians. This makes them extra vulnerable. To contribute to more knowledge and awareness about female health, we gave the girls who live in Iliaktida shelters an educational training.

Awareness and control

Away from their parents or guardians, we taught the girls about female anatomy, menstruation and sexual health. Because of the intimate setting, they felt free to share personal stories and ask questions.

With education, we help the girls become aware of their bodies. We also hope to contribute to increasing the girls’ sense of control over their own bodies. We encourage participants to support each other and discuss the customs of different communities. Finally, we explain where they can go for medical care.

Openness and connection

The participants asked our medical volunteers many questions about childbirth, family planning, menstruation and the pain that can accompany it. They were happy to have a place where taboos did not seem to exist for a while. Thus, shame slowly made way for openness and connection. “This training was really useful”, says one of them with satisfaction.


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