Meet Ellen Thorne, Global Coordinator of the Global Citizen Diploma, a high school credential supporting students to become a global citizen and to make a positive impact in the world around them. In her previous role as Global Citizenship Coordinator and Societies Teacher at Hong Kong Academy, Ellen played a pivotal role in launching LUÜNA’s Period Equity Program at the school.
Today, students and staff can access sustainable LUÜNA menstrual products in washrooms across campus, and have attended our educational events designed to destigmatize the topic of menstruation. Learn more about our work with Hong Kong Academy here.
In this video interview, Ellen shares the positive impact this initiative had for life on campus, as well as how it helps inspire a future generation of positive changemakers. Discover Ellen’s video interview and full transcript below.
If you want to learn more about LUÜNA’s Period Equity Program: Campus Edition, click here to discover more information and book an exploratory call with our team.
See full transcript below
Bringing LUÜNA products into the school and the education that comes along with them was a real game-changer for our school, in my opinion. Straight away, it destroyed the stigma completely.
In the past, I know that I would never have felt comfortable, I think, talking to high school boys about period products, but we were able to walk out of our LUÜNA Assembly with everyone having the same conversation. It meant that all teachers and all students could talk about something that is just fundamentally a health issue for half of the people in the world, as Olivia emphasized, and not feel weirded out by it.
I know that growing up, myself, in middle school, I would never have even... I would be mortified to speak to a female teacher even about having my period. And this just broke all that down and really opened up the conversation.
I think for schools and for me, that really links to the issue of gender equality and equity. In schools, we're always talking about finding authentic ways for students to think about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and this is an easy way in. This is something that levels the playing field at our own schools and also helps us to think about who doesn't have this level playing field.
Where are those places where people don't have access to education, who don't have the products, and who are being perhaps stigmatized and maybe even put in danger in their communities, particularly in some areas that we've learned about in Southeast Asia. It really creates an authentic context for the students to learn about that, and they can connect directly from what they're learning in school and their own situation at school directly out into other communities.
I think it can really help build knowledge and understanding and also empathy, and not just on the part of the girl students and teachers, but on the part of all of the students, the boys, the men, and the whole community.
I think a really concrete impact that having the products has made is that girls don't miss class anymore. Before we brought the products into the school, one of the students had done research that showed that some of the girls had missed classes or had needed to leave school because of accidents where they didn't have products at hand. And so, that just means that girls' education isn't disrupted or that they don't have those accidents at school that can be really embarrassing and can hurt a girl's emotional well-being, I would say.
So they are able to feel much more comfortable at school. And that's an immediate win beyond destroying the stigma and helping us think about equity and equality. So that alone is a good enough reason to have them and make that change for the girls and women in the community of your school. But also, it can open that wider conversation.
So big, big fan of LUÜNA products and a big fan of the education that they bring.