🚀Raaji goes into TESTINGs🚀💃🏽
One of my biggest dreams has been to see our product Raaji rolled out in schools, universities and community centers. I am so excited to announce that finally our Chatbot for reproductive health education has gone into formal pilots, evaluation and testing in schools across Pakistan. We started off by testing it on one of the most important topics for girls in the country - Menstrual Hygiene. Our first stop this week for these testings was Shabina Mustafa's The Garage School in Neelum Colony, Karachi. We were provided with an audience of 20 girls in the age brackets 11-19 years old and we had volunteer support from the internationally renowned non-profit Robin Hood Army Pakistan.
Our agenda was to engage the participants with games, test their pre-knowledge on Menstrual Hygiene, educate them in a large group using our artificial intelligence agent RAAJI, allow them to ask more one-on-one questions through doctor Shayan and then have one-on-one private conversations with RAAJI. We ended the sessions with food, drinks and a box where they could drop in their unanswered anonymous questions. These questions help us train our bot on anything we may have not addressed in the workshop.
Before our event, only 75% were aware of periods, 5% knew nothing and 20% thought they knew a little bit. And when we tested them further on this topic, we realized that the 75% who thought they were aware had incorrect knowledge on the topic.Before the session, 40% of the girls thought that periods are something dirty and shameful, 25% thought that it isn’t shameful whereas 35% couldn't decide between either. Whereas, after the session this changed to a 100% of girls believing that periods aren’t a bad phenomenon and it is natural to go through them. Prior to our education program, 75% of the girls knew the right duration (5-7 days) of periods. Whereas, after the session this changed to a 100% of them knowing the correct answer for this question. 60% of the girls said that they should use a sanitary product in periods while 40% still believed they could use anything i.e. cloth or cotton in periods. In our session, we educated them about why they should should a sanitary pad, its benefits and how to use it. After that, 100% of them said that they should a sanitary pad in periods. 65% of the girls believed that they should stay indoors while on their periods and only 35% believed that they could be around other people and do anything. Fortunately, we were able to change their belief on this topic. 85% of the girls thought there is no pain associated with periods. Where after the session 100% of them knew that while on periods, they could get cramps and have cravings and this is normal.
Our partner The Garage School has been proactively assisting us in these pilots and has been keen to do more workshops for the mothers of these girls, as well as their afternoon shift girls. They also feel similar activities on health and hygiene should be planned for their boys.
To do all this and more, we need access to more schools in Pakistan for testing and improving Raaji's content. We need access to Sanitary products so that we can introduce them to girls so they can move away from unhealthy practices such as using cloth pads. We need food and drinks to make these workshop activities something that the girls look forward to. And we need sponsors so we can train more teachers to run these activities with RAAJI in their school on their own. Most of the schools can't afford these reproductive health drives. You can support one testing drive for 200$, 3 drives for 400$ and 5 drives for $600.
If you'd like to read our full report, impact measurement techniques, results and findings from our first testing, click here. If you'd like to see our PHOTOS & FILMS of the adorable beneficiaries using RAAJI, click here. If you'd like to sponsor food, drinks, sanitary products, or sponsor a school drive, write back to us: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A big thank you once again to Robin Hood Army, Tech Camp Cultural Vistas and The Garage school for all their help in making #MenstrualHygieneForAll happen in Pakistan. Let's hope these 20 girls aided with this important information will go and change the world around them!