The Period Fellowship 2021
Pandemic Response

Are you passionate about gender equity?
Motivated to become a future menstrual health leader?

We’re searching for audacious applicants with demonstrated experience in marketing campaigns, grassroots engagement or partnership management to join The Period Fellowship – Pandemic Response, an immersive fellowship programme that has been specifically designed for the COVID context.

This is a paid 15-month full-time leadership journey designed to nurture future male and female leaders in the menstrual health ecosystem and reduce gender inequity in the most marginalised communities across India.

We believe that normalising menstruation through reproductive health education and open dialogue with adult and adolescent menstruators and the wider community of men and boys, panchayats and teachers will enable menstruators to advocate for their needs and reclaim agency over their bodies. In prior years, Period Fellows achieved this through our Community Outreach programme in communities and schools, however this year we have adapted to meet the need of the hour.
In 2021, Pandemic Response Period Fellows will be building a local movement to normalise menstruation through strategic partnerships, grassroots engagement, and creative campaigns that address menstrual and sexual reproductive health needs via our tele-health helpline Hello Saheli.
Over their 15-month journey, fellows will gain invaluable grassroots experience and a nuanced understanding of behaviour change, gender, reproductive health, sanitation and access to resources in a rural Indian context. The thoughtfully crafted leadership journey nurtures a strong sense of community and purpose within the menstrual health space and prepares Period Fellows to step-up as menstrual health leaders.

We’ve reached almost 168,000 adult and adolescent menstruators across ten states and aim to reach 1 million people in rural communities across Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra by 2025.

Pandemic Response Period Fellows will be placed in one of these key regions to build the foundations for our work over the next five years.  We fiercely welcome diversity in applicants, regardless of gender, caste, sexuality, age or background, we look forward to creative and passionate humans joining our tribe to help make menstruation a non-issue. To learn more check out our FAQs.

How has COVID-19 influenced
The Period Fellowship?

We made the difficult decision to halt The Period Fellowship in 2020 to adapt to the COVID context and the critical needs of marginalised menstruators. This year, we are pleased to relaunch The Period Fellowship Pandemic Response that addresses the need of the hour while taking measures to ensure:

What does joining The Period Fellowship -
Pandemic Response cohort involve?

The journey kicks off with a remote bootcamp where together we discover your unique story, motivation and strengths and build on your skills and mindsets to help you make an impact at the grassroots. The 2021-22 cohort will consist of nine Period Fellows who will be placed in teams of three in either rural Bihar, Madhya Pradesh or Maharashtra based on their location preferences and fluency.

In each region, Period Fellows will work together to:

Establish credibility, trust and a local presence rooted in breaking the silence around menstruation
Design and implement creative campaigns to spread awareness of Hello Saheli and address the critical menstrual and sexual reproductive needs of people in rural communities
Understand the community’s menstrual and sexual reproductive health needs to guide your plan of action and Uninhibited’s long-term strategy
Build and manage strategic partnerships, coalitions (Government and Non-Government) and community relationships to normalise menstruation
Develop leadership, team building, partnership and project management skills that will enable them to step-up as menstrual health leaders

Application Timelines

The Period Fellowship 2021 - Pandemic Response journey commences in a rural region on June 1, 2021.

FAQs

At the onset of the pandemic we made the decision to prioritise the health and safety of our field teams, fellows and community members and paused our Community Outreach programmes. Taking into consideration the impact of COVID-19 on marginalised communities and particularly women and girls, we launched Hello Saheli, a free tele-health helpline that enabled us to address critical menstrual and sexual reproductive health needs via telemedicine consultations and create safe spaces for dialogue, at scale across India.

The 2021 fellowship has a new name to reflect these unprecedented times – The Period Fellowship Pandemic Response. Fellows will continue our mission to end menstrual stigma, gaining invaluable grassroots experience and a nuanced understanding of behaviour change, gender, reproductive health, sanitation and access to resources in marginalised communities. The thoughtfully crafted leadership journey that culminates in Period Fellows being ready to step-up as future menstrual health leaders remains unchanged.

Where in prior years Period Fellows delivered our Community Outreach programme, spending a significant amount of time in communities and schools, in 2021-22 Pandemic Response Period Fellows will focus on building a local movement through strategic partnerships, grassroots engagement, and designing and implementing innovative ideas that spread awareness of Hello Saheli.

The 2021 cohort of Pandemic Response Period Fellows will play a critical role in setting up the foundation of our work in rural Bihar, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, where we plan to deepen our impact over the next five years. We look forward to welcoming a passionate, resilient and creative bunch to our tribe to make menstruation a non-issue across India.

Applicants must be:

  • At least 21 years of age and excited to commit to The Period Fellowship PR full-time over 15 months (paid fellowship).
  • Willing to relocate to a rural district in Madhya Pradesh / Maharashtra / Bihar and be fluent in spoken Hindi / Marathi / Bhojpuri.
  • Possess a working knowledge of written and spoken English.
  • Demonstrate prior experience in the development sector and one of the following areas: media and  campaigns / partnership management / grassroots engagement.
  • Possess a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Comfortable riding a two-wheeler or commit to learning over the next 6 months.
  • People from backwards castes, tribes and sexual minority groups are encouraged to apply.


We fiercely welcome diversity in our 2021.

Period Fellow – Pandemic Response applicants, as the need of the hour requires creative, contextual solutions. No matter your gender, sexuality, age or professional background, we look forward to working with passionate, dedicated humans to make menstruation a non-issue.

From 2021-2026 Uninhibited is deepening its impact in rural Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.  Pandemic Response Period Fellows will be placed in teams of three in their preferred region alongside a full-time Fellowship Manager who will provide mentorship and guidance, support operations, nurture you throughout your leadership journey.

Your journey begins with travel to your preferred rural region where you will join two other Period. Fellows and a Fellowship Lead for the next 15-months. Once settled in, the team will engage in a month-long remote bootcamp led by the Uninhibited core team and key partners where we gain an insight into your unique story, motivation and talents, and work with you to build on a variety of skills that will help you scale our work in the most marginalised communities. Over this time you will become a master of menstrual and sexual reproductive health and become familiar with your diverse cohort selected from all over India.

Your team will be responsible for creating a local movement to normalise menstruation through strategic partnerships with Government and Non-Goverment stakeholders, building relationships in communities and designing and implementing creative campaigns to spread word about Hello Saheli. An open-mindset, creativity and resilience are warmly welcomed – fellows are given the flexibility to shape regional operations, with the support of their managers and core Uninhibited team who are enthusiastic to collaborate on new approaches to achieving gender equity.

Absolutely! We began recruiting male fellows in our 2019 Period Fellowship cohort and are actively searching for male fellows to join us going forward to scale our menstrual and sexual reproductive health initiatives among men and boys. Men often end up being the primary decision-makers in marginalised households so it is extremely important to engage them in the conversation to enable them to recognise and support menstruators’ needs.

Yes, of course! Fellows will receive a stipend of 25,000INR per month which includes their travel allowance to and from schools, partner organisations and communities.

Uninhibited prides itself on its immersive 15-month leadership journey starting 1 June 2021 and ending 31 August 2021. The cut-off date to apply for this batch is Sunday Feb 14, 2021.

Being a member of The Period Fellowship cohort is a transformative experience, where the highs and lows experienced together forges friendships for life. After the whirlwind journey comes to an end, you can look forward to:
• A warm welcome into our spirited tribe.
• Introductions to potential employers based on your areas of interest.
• A select few visionary Period Fellows can apply to become a PeriodPreneur to incubate their own menstrual health start-up.

Providing access to menstrual hygiene products doesn’t necessarily impact how an adolescent menstruator perceives their body, or whether an adult feels worthy to touch food or visit a temple while menstruating. We’re firm believers that ending menstrual stigma through open dialogue between family and community members around menstrual and sexual reproductive health can have a significant impact on the agency of menstruators in the long-term. The more we can normalise periods in households, the greater the potential of menstruators advocating for their needs and reclaiming agency over their bodies.

We encourage you to read through our FAQs in detail, however, if you still have questions unanswered, you’re welcome to email richa.khobragade@theperiodfellowship.in 

In 2018, the first Period Fellowship cohort included 16 talented humans placed across Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Karnataka, followed by a cohort of 6 placed in Madhya Pradesh in 2019.

In 2018, the first Period Fellowship cohort included 16 talented humans placed across Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Karnataka, followed by a cohort of 6 placed in Madhya Pradesh in 2019.

What our Period Fellows have to say

Explore their Journey

Slide Shraddha, 2018 Period Fellow Friends and family thought that I was just doing a job - but it was and is more than that. My journey was a process of learning and unlearning about myself. It helped me uncover the values that guide me, making me surer of myself. It started with becoming a fellow, then a facilitator and finally, a leader. Slide Shweta, 2018 Period Fellow The Period Fellowship nurtured my identity. It wasn’t an easy journey for me, but slowly I started making the impossible, possible - travelling across the hills and building a community of women who are willing to challenge taboos around menstruation. I learnt a lot from my cohort who came from diverse backgrounds. Now when I’m stuck, I reflect on my journey as a Period Fellow and find myself motivated to uncover a path of innovation and creativity. I’m so proud that I’m a Period Fellow and a part of the Sukhibhava community. Slide Richa, 2018 Period Fellow Through my journey as a Period Fellow I learnt about the intersection of gender, systemic oppression and menstruation. The experience changed my outlook towards social work and the development sector Slide Satyam, 2019 Period Fellow & PeriodPreneur The Period Fellowship changed my attitude towards my future and sense of purpose. I learnt the significance of a strong set of values and how they can empower me to do anything and everything

Slide Rehan discovered that his wife menstruated for more than seven days at a time and experienced severe pain and discomfort. Taking Satyam, our Period Fellow’s advice, Rehan arranged a doctor consultation for his wife where she was able to access medication. He never realised how menstruation could have complications and was grateful for the nudge to be more involved with his wife’s health. Rehan (name changed for anonymity) had never thought to speak to his wife about menstruation, however after attending a Sukhibhava session in his community, he initiated the conversation. Slide The pressure from her family and in-laws to fall pregnant led her to feel depressed and ashamed that something may be wrong with her. Poorva (name changed for anonymity) lives in a low-income community and had been receiving treatment from a local hospital for the past four years to help her conceive. She heard about Hello Saheli, our free telehealth helpline, and hoped she might find guidance. She was able to learn about the uterus and fertilisation process through a tele-health consultation, and the doctor advised both her and husband should get a fertility test. The test revealed that the difficulty in conceiving was attributed to her husband but they were relieved to be able to find a solution together. Poorva felt especially grateful she let go of her shame and move forward, hopeful for the future. Slide For the past twenty years, Anita had been removing her pubic hair using a blade that would leave painful cuts on her vagina that bled for two weeks at a time. Anita (named changed for anonymity) is a forty-five year old mother of three living in a low-income community. She applied turmeric each time to try and disinfect her wounds, however this did little to relieve her pain and discomfort. Annapurna, the session facilitator, gently advised Anita to visit a doctor in case of infection and for pain management, while sharing how she can safely and hygienically remove pubic hair to avoid cuts. Anita sought out a doctor and followed Annapurna’s advice - she was relieved to see an immediate improvement. In the final session Anita shared passionately that she will be teaching her daughters correct menstrual health and hygiene practices, so they will never have to suffer like her.

Uninhibited Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable trust registered in Bengaluru, India. Reg. No. MLS-4-00014-2016-18.
Gramin Vikas Samiti is a registered society with the Registrar, Firm & Societies Chandigarh, India. Reg. No. HR-018-2012-00121.
Uninhibited Australia Ltd is a registered company under the Corporations Act 2001 in Victoria, Australia. Australian Company Number (ACN) 647 986 365.

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Find out how you can Join the Movement

Sukhibhava Foundation is delighted to announce its strategic partnership with Gramin Vikas Samiti (GVS), a fellow non-profit with 24 years of experience working on social development in rural contexts across India. In the spirit of collaboration, we will now be recognised as 'Uninhibited', a rebranded identity that reflects our common vision to enable marginalised menstruators to become uninhibited in advocating for their needs, leading to improved wellbeing and equitable participation in school, the workforce and society. Stay in the loop with our quarterly newsletter to learn more about our impact, upcoming events and how you can get involved.