MoHiM - No Shame in the Period Game

MoHiM is a game about periods. It educates, engages and empowers people around the world to break the menstrual stigma. 
Gone are the days of crushing candies;
It's time to catch those pads with undies!
The prototype version has been developed for iPhones and iPads.
The game has received immense media attention and has been featured in HuffingtonPost, Daily Mail, Yahoo News, with BBC and AJ+ interviews following soon.

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About This Innovation

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Provide a status update for your Innovation.

The basic prototype of the game has already been developed and launched on the App Store. Since the launch on August 11th, 2016, we have given interviews to and been published by international news outlets such as Yahoo News, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, and The Express Tribune. In total, our game has been covered by roughly 30 media sources that we know of thus far, with requests for interviews regarding our game and overall vision coming in daily. 
We are currently working with Femme International to take the game to 3500 girls in three urban slums around Nairobi, Kenya. Femme's research conducted in the Mathare Valley slum showed that nearly 80% of girls had no idea what menstruation was before they got their first period - a significant gap in health education. 
The game will be developed for low-end android phones that have high rates of penetration in low-income households. The game does not require internet access for game play. In the last five years, these low-end mobile phones have become extremely wide-spread and common in urban Kenya, with nearly all households having at least one.  The Android version will be custom-made for the Kenyan context, and hence the content, art and language be locally informed and context vigilant.

How does your innovation work?

MoHiM works to break down the menstrual taboos and empower girls to feel proud and in control of their bodies, every day of the month. There is a massive educational gap when it comes to menstrual health and hygiene among the bottom billion, and deep-rooted cultural taboos are often oppressive and send messages of shame to young girls. These taboos are often a major barrier for teenage girls - preventing them from attending school, participating in daily activities, and cultivating a culture of shame surrounding their bodies and its natural functions.

MoHiM raises menstrual health awareness through a fun myth-busting game and brings the dialogue to the forefront; educating and creating champions who are eager to eradicate MHM shame!

What Evidence do you have that your Innovation works?

A great challenge for the educator is motivating the student to learn.
Videogames, however, serve as a source of intrinsic motivation for those who play them[1]. This motivation is a key component in behavioral change, as the recipient of information must to be willing to receive it in order for it to be effective. Moreover, the element of fun, a critical aspect of intrinsic motivation that is inherent in videogames, allows this information to be easily digested and, more importantly, retained[2].
An evaluation of the 9-minutes mobile game and video, a multi-media intervention package aimed at teaching the topics of safe pregnancy and delivery, found “measurable shifts in knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions toward promoted safe pregnancy and delivery actions.”[3] Additionally, it was concluded that participants enjoyed the multimedia products that were used—further evidence toward motivation being a key component in education and knowledge retention. We expect to see these same aforementioned shifts as a result of our game. Moreover, we strongly feel that there is a lack of information surrounding the topic of menstrual hygiene, and that our game provides this information in an effective way. Our game, then, has the potential to effectively disseminate knowledge not previously accessible to certain communities, which could result in significant behavioral change surrounding menstrual hygiene.

[1] Baranowski, Tom, Richard Buday, Debbe I. Thompson, and Janice Baranowski. 2008. “Playing for Real: Video Games and Stories for Health-Related Behavior Change.” Am J Prev Med Jan; 34(1): 74–82.e10. doi:  10.1016/j.amepre.2007.09.027
[2] Ibid.
[3] Dasgupta, P., K. Tureski, R. Lenzi, K. Bindu, G. Nanda. 2012. “Half the Sky Movement Multimedia Communication Initiative: An Evaluation of the 9-Minutes Mobile Game and Video.” Washington, DC: C-Change/FHI 360: Pg. 4 .

Do you have current users or testers?

Yes, the game is available on the App Store. 

What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?

One of the main goals of MoHiM is to reach all corners of the world that will be made possible via partnerships with governments, Aid Agencies and NGOs working on MHM. MoHiM will be introduced as part of the on-going awareness building programs and campaigns of these actors, like our current partner, Femme International. The grassroots nature of NGOs and the amount of resources available at the government and agency level (like USAID, DFID, Gates Foundation etc.), MoHiM will be able to reach the bottom billion.

GRID can also team up with other sponsors, like manufacturers of sanitary pads in the private sector, and introduce MoHiM as part of their marketing campaigns. This marriage of convenience will increase their customer base as more women start using pads after playing MoHiM and help achieve the goal of creating awareness about menstrual hygiene. Most of these private manufacturers also have Corporate Social Responsibility departments that would also benefit from partnering with GRID, increasing the likelihood of a successful relationship. 

Next Steps

We are seeking funding to introduce MoHiM on a national scale in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The game will be introduced as part of on-going menstrual education campaigns by our implementation partners so that the geographic reach is attainable at the lowest possible cost.
In each country trained Facilitators will lead the girls through introductory workshops to MoHiM, teaching them how the game works, and helping them get comfortable with the software. They will also participate in an interactive learning session about menstrual health and hygiene, based on Femme's existing Feminine Health Management Program. The FHM workshop focuses on menstrual health, but also addresses a variety of reproductive health topics. Most importantly, the workshops create a safe space for girls to talk and ask questions about sensitive topics that they might otherwise be unable to ask.