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The MIM Challenge Creates Awareness about SDG6

The MIM Challenge Creates Awareness about SDG6 | IE Business

11th edition of the MIM Challenge has students collaborate with Splash Projects to spread awareness on menstrual health and sustainable sanitary products.

Master in Management students from IE Business School in collaboration with Splash Projects held the MIM Challenge during the IE Charity Day, to educate the campus on women’s menstrual health and sustainable sanitary products, while raising funds for the World Toilet Organization.

“MIM Challenge is a challenge towards yourself, and this year, it is a very personal topic. Before you can advise sustainability and hygiene, you need to create a safe space for women around you to talk about it and then you can go beyond campus and talk to women in developing countries about sanitary options. But, for that to happen, we have to kill the taboo.”

Hasmitha Rangaswami, MIM Challenge leadership ambassador

The 11th edition of the MIM Challenge was organized by a team of seven students, known as leadership ambassadors, around the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, Sanitation and Water, with the focus on women’s menstrual health.

The MIM Challenge Creates Awareness about SDG6 | IE Business

Students said they were inspired by Jack Sim, the founder of the World Toilet Organization and their mentor, to tackle this issue specifically. “We realized that as a society we have come a long way when we converse and take actions related to menstruation. Yet the menstrual hygiene and sustainability aspect of using the menstrual product is an issue that impacts not only developing countries but also developed societies,” added Radhika Bhatia, a leadership ambassador.

The work of six months culminated in the IE Charity Day where students broke the taboo on menstruation. Paloma Alma, founder of Cyclo Sustainable Menstruation, gave a talk about the importance of reconciling society with women’s periods and normalizing such a dialogue in the professional world. She also instructed the students about the different sustainable sanitary products available to women.

The MIM Challenge included a photography contest around womanhood and women’s hygiene. Martina Andreoli, a student at IE University, won the first prize with a picture she called “the abstract art of being a woman”.

World Toilet Organization

“Menstruation can be a big part of being a woman for some. It is important to shed light on this topic since in many cultures, countries and institutions it is still seen as a taboo,” Andreoli further explained.

Additionally, Melanie Chinchayan Diaz, one of the leadership ambassadors, held a sustainable pads workshop where students made their own sanitary pads. She reminded the participants that an estimated 500 million menstruating women lack access to sanitary products and hygiene facilities, thus, the importance of this initiative. Some participants said the process very hard, but the MIM leadership ambassadors said they reached their objective of raising awareness about sustainable menstrual products.

Organizers called the event a success as it raised €1,000 for the World Toilet Organization, a global non-profit committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide.

"This experience will stay with me forever because it taught me a lot about how to work as a team with different nationalities, to adapt to different ways of working, and to manage conflicts and different points of view in order to finally make a decision. For me, it was a really good experience where I was pushed to the limit and also out of my comfort zone, reaching out to people from different countries, asking for help, just as Simon said "If we don't have experience, we don't have our own stories to tell”."
"I met amazing like minded people who were enthusiatics to work for a cause and who did not shy away from Periods. We are a team of eight, and the three men on board have been truely inspiring. From making pads to managing teams, I have come a long way. The last six months has been truely challenging, both professionally and personally, but this has tranformed me into a better person and a better leader."
"The beauty of this 6 month long project was that we, the students, designed , ideated and worked on defining the purpose of the event. When I started working on the project my aim was to contribute to a meaningful cause, but little did i know this will turn out to be the best leadership experience of my life!"
"The MIM leadership ambassadors are proving that you can learn in the classroom and have an impact outside of it!"