Does much of the news these days get you down? It certainly affects us from time to time. As we see it, that’s all the more reason to notice the things that are going well. 

During each term, students at the International School of Haarlem (ISH) have a dedicated day for exploring social justice issues. (Love it!) This academic year, they’ve been able to meet with NF ally Jerry Afriyie, of Nederland Wordt Beter, to discuss racism and the rise of the BLM movement, and with the Transketeers for a closer look at LGBTQIA+ rights. 

Recently, we got to spend time with ISH students during their latest Building Social Justice Day.  Our own coordinator Nicole Römer led workshops on women’s rights. With ages ranging from 13 to 17, the students learned about the basics of intersectionality and women’s rights issues, such as the inequity of period poverty. The students dove into ideas around menstruation, including why we use the terms “people who menstruate,” rather than “women”. They also got into the practical side, packing a ton of Dignity Kits, and they really got into writing encouraging notes for the people we support. The Q+A was genuine and lively, with endearingly frank, curious questions.

We’re still smiling about their spirit, heart, and the perspectives they shared. It’s this kind of energy and good will that helps drive shifts both in cultural attitudes and for lasting social changes, like ending period poverty. And that benefits everyone, whether they menstruate or not. Our warm thanks to ISH and Rîan Richards (@RianTeaches)  for facilitating our visit. Of course we also thank the students, and to them we say–quoting one of their handwritten notes: “You are the world’s Plan A.”