Kumari’s Adventure is an innovative and change-making initiative,
started at the outset of the pandemic by The Country That Shook as a
way of keeping connected and raising morale.
At the heart of the concept is a storybook, written by Sophie
Maliphant, following her extensive experience and
conversations with menstruators in Nepal. The story was edited and
translated by Anuradha. And, most importantly, every element of the
story was drawn by over 80 young people across Nepal and the globe.
Each of their names is celebrated by our character, Kumari.
At age 13, Kumari and her friend Anisha found bicycles in their village that took them on an adventure. They met other women and girls who were all curious to learn more about their female bodies and to discuss their menstruation experiences and the taboos prevalent in Nepali society.
Kumari was a bit nervous at first but, before long, her curiosity about her physical anatomy outweighed her shyness! She understood how and why the whole Moon Cycle works to keep her healthy. Suddenly it wasn’t scary any more and she didn’t want to keep it a secret from other people, it’s something we all deserve to know. It made her feel empowered!
The adventure also taught Kumari about the similarities between her body and the seasons of nature outside. It became clear to her that menstruation is a natural process, and not something to be ashamed of.
This inspired Kumari to ask the women and girls in her village how they feel about their Moon Cycle, so that everyone can talk about it more openly. She doesn't have all the answers and she knows she'll always be learning more, but to begin the conversation is the first step, and that is only possible together. Kumari's dream is that her story will inspire many more conversations to begin.
This collaborative process has in itself birthed a passionate and determined community of young people who are advocates for change. They are the story behind the story. As a collective, we have been offering workshops and discussions throughout the development of the project, as we’ve celebrated successes and navigated challenges. The aim is to have regular spaces where people can have fun, ask questions and learn organically.
• Mainly online, initially due to the pandemic and now allowing inclusivity for people from different locations to join.
• In Nepali language, facilitated by local professionals
• Always have a creative intention - to date we’ve designed t-shirts, hot water bottles,
postcards and a tote bag too, all made into real products and all depicting our relationships with menstruation.
These creative endeavours inspire connected conversation.
• Held every three months to ensure workshops are original and well-planned!
We remain an essentially unfunded project; we have received a few small grants to allow parts of the creation process to happen and have individual workshops funded by small organisations or individuals. We have one paid member of staff in Nepal who is currently on sabbatical. This demonstrates the incredible passion and determination behind this initiative and the need for accessible creative spaces where people can express themselves and explore their feelings about taboo topics.
Imagine what we could achieve with regular funding!
All images and designs created by Sophie Maliphant, The Firefly Creatrix, unless specifically stated. Subject to copyright ©.
Please do not use images professionally without permission and credit me when sharing on on social media (@thefireflycreatrix)