Editor’s note: we were fortunate enough to have two students cover the malawi nursing panel presentation. Parts of the two articles have been put together, as they are complementary to each other.
This week, we got the opportunity to hear Alex Mota speak about her project at the Malawi Experience talk during the Social Science Festival. She was very dedicated and made us think about many things we take for granted.
Alex is a social science student who had tried to make the subject of menstruation less taboo. She participated in the “Change your world” bursary, in which one can win funding for a project. Having won, she decided to donate her prize to this cause, acquiring $2,000 worth of pads, that’s over 100 pads kits, and gave them to girls, also teaching women how to make reusable pads. Immediately after, Alex found out about the Nursing exchange to Malawi in which Vanier students get the opportunity to learn about the nursing techniques over in that country and to also help the population of Malawi. She later got invited to participate in the trip and to teach the students in Malawi about menstruation.
In the presentation, Alex spoke about her project of sending girls to school with the right menstruation equipment and teaching the children there about this so called “taboo subject”. In doing so, she helped many people who were unaware.
Alex Mota also talked about some stories that some Malawian girls told her and they were quite shocking. One of the girl’s’ grandfather told her that she could bleed out and die because of menstruation. Another girl told her that boys mock her and they tell her that she shouldn’t be in school because she smelled bad. Imagine if girls in Canada were not being allowed to get an education because of their bodies’ natural course.
This is why Alex is inspiring. Working hard, with the ups and downs of her project, she accomplished her dream and sent countless girls to school. She inspires us to educate ourselves on this important topic and to persevere no matter what. Her motivation and her hard work has proven that there is still hope in humanity. Her idea changed the lives of many Malawian girls and boys.
“Now, it’s time to question ourselves: as a society in the developed world, what can we do together to make those girls’ dreams come true? How can we shed light on menstruation? How can we, young adults and future decision makers of our society, make the world a better place?”
“This is what I hope to achieve during my years at Vanier; I want to make a difference like [Alex] did. Hopefully she inspired many other young brilliant minds like herself.”
 Vishaldip Rattan
 Chloé-Alexandra Vicente-Sarmento
 Aline Yip