Awareness campaign on menstrual disorders takes the Bronze award at the Young Social Innovators of the Year
Picking up the national Bronze Award, the team from St. Brigid's Secondary School, Killarney was recognised for its Operation Red project. The team’s focus was on raising awareness about the lack of knowledge surrounding menstrual disorders and encouraging an open discussion on these issues, so no woman ever feels alone.
Concerned about misinformation on social media platforms in relation to dealing with menstrual disorders, the team aimed to educate their peers about their reproductive health, highlight some of the most common warning signs that can potentially disrupt daily life, and signpost available support should they be needed.
The team found that young people risked being ill-informed due to a lack of education in the formal school setting or misinformed due to social media which, when combined with a discomfort in talking openly about menstrual health could lead to young people being too embarrassed to seek help when they in fact needed it.
Members of the Operation Red team following their live pitch to the YSI Judges on May 9th.
As part of their reponse, the students developed lesson plans for use in SPHE classes to help educate younger year students and bring awareness to the issue of menstrual health. They also organised and hosted an event to enable students to pre-pose questions to a leading gynacologist who attended to talk to students about their reproductive system, how they
can manage their periods and period care and when to seek help if they are experiencing menstrual health-related issues.
The team will receive a prize bursary of €750, which can be put towards developing their idea and increasing the impact of their innovation.
Our team has chosen to address the social issue of menstrual disorders that affect females. We want to target the misinformation that exists about these disorders that is especially prevalent amongst teenage girls. We also want to address the stigma surrounding menstrual health and periods in our school community.
This year’s programmes saw participation from 6,123 Irish teenagers and the development of 423 social innovation projects nationwide on a wide range of issues including health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, the environment and sustainability and much more. 35 shortlisted projects competed for YSI's Challenge Awards with a variety of innovative projects.
Young Social Innovators Co-Founder and CEO, Rachel Collier, said, “Each year, I am blown away by the passion and creativity of Ireland’s youth. Every year we see future leaders creating social innovations and addressing the challenges we are facing at local, regional, national and international levels. These young citizens will help shape our economy, our culture and our future political arena. They have a huge part to play in shaping our future communities and society, and to be able to give them a platform to share their brilliant ideas is a huge honour. This generation, Gen Z show a great understanding of what can be achieved to create a more fair, inclusive, and sustainable society. It is truly humbling to witness such incredible passion and enthusiasm for important social causes impacting across generations. From all at YSI, we extend our sincere congratulations to today’s new titleholders, along with each and every student who took part in projects throughout the year.”