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Over 20 girls scattered around the room collecting messages as part of a treasure hunt. 

“Did you know that there are 28 days in average between the first day of your period and the first day of your next period?” one message read. “Did you know that menstruation can affect your mood and emotional state?” read another. 

“Rest assured, periods are a natural occurrence during puberty and it is nothing to worry about,” the final message read.

The treasure hunt activity was part of the commemoration of Menstrual Hygiene Day at the UNFPA-operated Safe Spaces in Giza and Damietta. 

The Safe Spaces are operated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports with Etijah, supported by UNFPA. They are designed for women and girls from refugee and host communities, where they can access gender-based violence prevention and response services – including psychosocial, legal, and medical – as well as reproductive health services. 

They can rebuild their social networks, receive social support, and also acquire different vocational and livelihood skills. 

Other than the Treasure hunt, multiple activities were held aiming to  raise awareness on menstrual health and hygiene management as well as dispel stigma and break taboos surrounding menstruation. Through an Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) education session and an open discussion around menstruation, the participants learned important knowledge on MHM and also shared their own experiences on managing menstrual health and hygiene.   

Girls also beaded together “Menstruation Bracelets” – a global symbol and campaign for menstruation. The bracelet consists of 28 white beads, representing the average length of the menstrual cycle, and five red beads which stands for the average length of the period.  This also explains why the 28th of May has been selected to celebrate the Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Other activities also included a yoga class focused on encouraging girls to accept themselves and their own bodies even during menstruation through breathing and other mindful exercises. 

The Menstrual Hygiene Day is a global advocacy initiative to promote good menstrual health and hygiene for all women and girls. For the last three years, the MH Day movement has been calling for more action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene.  UNFPA, through its Safe Spaces will continue to reach out to refugee women and girls to educate about menstruation, break the taboos and end the stigma surrounding menstruation.