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Mercedes Carrizo

2021 Fellow

Mercedes Carrizo Headshot

Mercedes Carrizo is 24 years old, lives in the City of Santa Fe – Argentina, is in the final stretch of earning her Political Science degree, and is a volunteer of the Argentine Guides Association. She is passionate about immersing herself in new projects, thinking about them, and dreaming about them. Her curiosity leads her to constantly learn new things about people, places and new topics that are interesting to her. / 10 years ago a guide community opened in a neighborhood called Las Lomas, a marginalized neighborhood in the western cordon of the City of Santa Fe with little access to public services, be it transportation, health, safety. Access can be impossible, especially on rainy days. / Guiding is a non-formal education movement that promotes the comprehensive training of girls, adolescents, youth and adults, promoting opportunities for character development, responsible citizenship and commitment to their communities and society. The daily work revolves around the gender perspective and the empowerment of women. / In the current year there was a concern to address the issue of menstrual hygiene, since it was observed that among the girls there is very little accurate information and a lot of taboo. Added to the misinformation, the neighborhood does not have a garbage collection service so there is a lot of waste. / To address the problem, it was decided to carry out a collaborative project, which we call “It is important to talk about menstruation”, the project has four lines of action: 1- Education and training in health and menstrual management within the framework of the ESI, 2-Training of young leaders, 3-Promotion of the right to health and reproductive health. 4-Reduction of non-biodegradable waste. In order to carry out these guidelines, it was proposed to educate the girls about the subject by training the largest group of young people in the community, made up of girls between 16 and 20 years old. They are trained by health professionals and environmentalists and then create a package of activities to train their fellow guides and finally the neighborhood community. / The impact on lives reached by this project is estimated at 100 people in its first stage (among girls, adolescents, youth and adults), from 2 neighborhoods in the north and west of the city of Santa Fe / Formative impact: these women will be accessing or complementing information in relation to menstrual care and hygiene, from a comprehensive view of the ESI, which allows moving away from the purely biological or physiological approach to incorporate issues of self-care, self-perception, representations of femininity and identity of genre. / Impact on health: knowing how to properly manage menstruation and eradicate unhygienic practices can prevent infections and damage to physical and mental health in the long term. / Environmental impact: we will be promoting the use of reusable menstrual management elements such as reusable dressings and menstrual cup, which positively impacts the amount of non-biodegradable waste. / Economic impact: through the promotion of reusable menstrual management elements and the dissemination of the municipal ordinance by which elements of the basic menstrual basket are distributed free of charge in the city of Santa Fe, we will be contributing to the reduction of inequality economic conditions that girls, youth and women are subjected to.

Mercedes was selected as a participant in the 2021 Voces Que Inspiran.