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The kits that change lives: Yorkits Workshop returns to York Minster to mark International Women’s Day

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International Women’s Day at York Minster, will be marked by the annual Yorkits Workshop where teams of volunteers make washable, re-usable feminine hygiene kits for girls in developing countries.  The 2022 event will be held on Thursday 10 March.

Run by Rotary York Ainsty, Yorkits is a hands-on community project bringing women and girls from York and the region together, to make feminine hygiene kits which change the lives of young girls by keeping them in education during their menstruation.

Yorkits has devised a practical, low cost, re-usable and eco-friendly solution to this problem – using brightly patterned cottons to make cleverly designed pads and covers which are then packed into attractive drawstring bags. These can be easily sewn by hand or with a sewing machine.

Each kit, which can last for up to three years, includes underwear, a wash cloth and two one-gallon, super-strong polythene zip-locked bags to enable items to be washed easily – particularly important in areas where clean water is scarce – plus a waterproof carry bag for soiled items. The kits are then taken by volunteers to overseas projects run by Rotary, churches and other voluntary organisations.

Rotary York Ainsty Project Co-ordinator Mrs Issy Sanderson, spent much of her working life in developing countries, setting up self-help and income generating projects in some of the poorest communities in the world.  Issy said:

“Lack of access to affordable, feminine hygiene products has serious consequences for many women and girls across the world, including missing school days and risk of infection from using improvised materials.  Yorkits make menstruation, safe, hygienic and dignified and that means girls can continue their education uninterrupted, giving them equal opportunities.

“The kits have also proved to be a game changer for women who have set up small self-help groups locally, seed-funded by Yorkits, to make and supply kits made out of local materials and providing a small income to support their families and educate their children. Come and help us to change lives!”

This year’s annual Yorkits Workshop will take place on Thursday 10 March at York Minster.  There will be two sessions: 10am until 12.30pm and 1.30 until 4pm.  All materials and equipment will be provided and refreshments will be available.

Places at the workshops are limited and free tickets need to be booked in advance. Tickets are available by calling 01904 557200 or by going to Yorkits Workshops | York Minster

Please note:  there is a suggested donation of £3.00, payable on the day, to cover the costs of materials and to help towards seed-funding community self-help groups overseas to make kits out of local materials.

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