What? YorKits is a York based “hands-on” project which involves volunteers coming together to make washable, easy to use, feminine hygiene kits for girls in developing countries.
Why? In many developing countries, due to poverty, many girls have no feminine hygiene provision and can’t go to school during menstruation, therefore missing out large parts of their education. We therefore aim to help them by providing with access to uninterrupted schooling.
Where? We run workshops in Poppleton at All Saints Church Hall and in Copmanthorpe, at the Methodist Church and occasionally at other venues upon request.
When? We usually run the workshops on Saturdays once a month, (except during school holidays). New workshops are being established as more volunteers come forward.
How? We run workshops and use brightly patterned cottons to make up the low cost cleverly designed kits, which are packed into attractive drawstring bags and which last each girl typically for up to three years. Each kit also contains panties, a wash cloth, and two x one gallon-size strong polythene zip-locked bags (the smallest washing-machines in the world!) to enable the soiled items to be washed easily in small amounts of often scarce water. We also provide templates and instructions on how to make further kits for themselves.
We use brightly coloured and patterned cotton (suitable designs are those which do not depict insects, animals or people) to make both drawstring bags and the “shields”.
Here are the recommendations:-
¨ Strong waterproof sheeting such as mattress covers or shower curtains or polyurethane laminate, by the metre. This is used to make the waterproof lining for the “shields” which have pockets into which the washable “liners” (tri-folded to make pads) are tucked.
Printed winceyette or brushed cotton for making the liners.
¨ Cord for the drawstring bags.
¨ Press studs for the shields.
¨ Pairs of panties, womens’ size 10 and 12 or girls’ age 12 to14 years. Bright or dark colours, patterned with suitable designs. No white garments please.
¨ Face cloths in bright or dark colours, again no white fabrics.
¨ Gallon-sized zip-lock or slider-fastened strong polythene bags.
Please come along and help at any of the Yorkits workshops. We need not only sewing-machinists but also hand sewers, helpers to draw around templates, cut out the fabrics and of course, we always need people to make the tea and coffee or provide biscuits and cakes!
We have an annual date at York Minster where every March we celebrate International Women's Week.
On the chosen day (this year it was 7th March 2019) we have large workshop and educational events, where Days for Girls kits are produced and assembled and where everyone is encouraged too participate.
At the York Minster March event, we worked alongside other York based charities who are involved in 'Period Poverty'. Do come along and participate in this worthwhile event, next year.
YorKits is a Rotary York Ainsty project, whose members provide logistical, communication and GDPR support.
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