Femme Projects is a Black, queer and womxn owned organisation, co-directed and founded by Kim Windvogel (28), Loren Loubser (28) and Kelly Eve Koopman (29), that uses interactive methods of running comprehensive sexual education, sexual reproductive health and rights, gender education and consent motivating workshops with youth in communities throughout the Western Cape.
In addition to its work in schools, Femme Projects has been involved in a number of campaigns for gender equity and sexual and reproductive rights. Acceptance and sex positivism is very central to the workshops and educational programmes Femme Projects facilitates.
“We want our learners to know that they should not be shamed for bleeding. That they will not be judged for being sexually active, for being queer, for being sexually curious, for exploring masturbation,” says Loubser.
Femme Projects’s contribution to the advocacy space is ensuring access to sanitary products, education on vital conversations such as advocating for tax free sanitary products, the decriminalisation of sex work, inclusive rights and health access for trans people, breaking taboos around menstruation and advocating for the rights of all sexual and gender identities.
They’ve been involved in the fight to abolish the tampon tax and very recently in curating an anthology of writing from people who occupy a broad range of identities. They are hoping to use the anthology to further advance their mission for queer inclusivity and gender sensitisation among youth.
“If our youth are supported to understand and appreciate their bodies, their sexual orientation, gender, expression, consent and rights, they will make informed and healthier decisions,” adds Loubser.
Although the organisation has enjoyed some serious strides, such as having British model and public figure Naomi Campbell come to their workshop as a motivational speaker and support their initiative, they admit to having difficulty in securing consistent funding.
“What we have at the moment is project-based funding, but it’s really difficult to grow and be sustainable in our commitment to our learners without a more sustainable organisational fund” says Loubser.
The project is hoping to collaborate with the government to produce sexual reproductive health and rights materials to facilitate workshops as part of the revisions of the high scool Life Orientation curriculum, which they have been advocating for years.
“We are in a global gender-based violence and sexual reproductive health and rights crisis. It’s horrific, it’s intolerable, it’s damn scary. We need to teach our learners that their bodies are their own. That their bodies have rights. That their bodies deserve only love and acceptance. This is what keeps us going,” Loubser adds. — Welcome Lishivha