My Voice about Period Poverty

In May I added my voice about period poverty across Africa and the United States in my blog post about Yarn for Menstrual Health  It is a campaign started Morine of Morine’s Shop and the African Girl Foundation.  #YarnForMenstrualHealth is an awareness campaign whose aim is to normalize conversation on menstrual health.  My story as a young girl who knew nothing about menses or how to pay for sanitary napkins hit home when I seen the article that LoveCrafts did last year.

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#YarnForMenstrualHealth also raise funds to equip girls in need with reusable sanitary kits. Each kit goes for $10 and consists of 4 reusable pads and washing soap to last every girl an entire year!

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What does this have to do with Crochet, you ask??  Her group would knit and crochet 1000 hats to create awareness regarding the unhygienic circumstances most school girls across Kenya endure during their menses. I decided to raise funds to help this organization by designing a beanie, the Wattle Stitch Beanie, and donation part of the sale proceeds to the #YarnforMenstrualHealth campaign.

Wattle Stitch Beanie

 

 

 

I decided to add my voice about period poverty.   I will be speaking out about what I went through went I first started my period and how periods were never mentioned in a household full of 8 women and young girls.  I never seen any sanitary napkins and my family never taught me about what to expect when I first got my period either.  I want to add my voice about period poverty because I lived in a household of 25 people because we didn’t have the resources as a family of 3 to live by ourselves.  You can read more of my story on my website.

 

I was approached by Morine last week to add my voice about period poverty, the Voices by AGF event that is running from October 11, 2021 until November 2021.  I will be going live on the African Girls Foundation Instagram page, @africangirlfoundation October 19, 2021 to tell my story and to share more about myself and my crochet business.  I will be going live at 12p EST to talk and then I will stay on their Instagram page to answer any questions and reply to other people’s stories.  You can find me at the African Girls Foundation’s Instagram from 12p – 5p on October 19, 2021.

 

 

Again, I will be going live at 12p EST to talk and then I will stay on their Instagram page to answer any questions and reply to other people’s stories.  You can find me at the African Girls Foundation’s Instagram from 12p – 5p on October 19, 2021.  So please be sure to stop by.

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Yarn for Menstrual Health

I wanted to talk to you about a taboo subject that most people don’t like to talk about, Menstrual Awareness.  During the months of March to May there are quite a few organizations out there that try and spread the word about this taboo subject.  These organizations talk about menstrual hygiene and spreading awareness for young girls, just like the girls below need to hear about.

 

 

One of the organizations I want to talk to you about started the Yarn for Menstrual Health campaign, but first I wanted to share a little bit about my story as a young girl.

I wish this was a topic we talked about when I was a young girl.  I started my menstrual cycle when I was 12 years old.  This was not a topic talked about in my household, even though there were over 10 women in it.  While I was away at camp I started my period.  I had NO idea what was happening or how to deal with it.  I was so afraid to talk to anyone about it or even go to the nurse to find out how to handle it.  For my first period I used toilet paper the whole time, this was not very hygienic to say the least.

The week at camp was not an experience I remember fondly.  The whole time I was so scared!  I was afraid everyone would make fun of me if they found out.  The whole time I was there all that ran through my mind was what is happening to me?  Does it show?  Did I use enough toilet paper?  Was I bleeding through my clothes?

As a 12 year old girl in 6th grade I didn’t know how to handle it at school either.  My mom wrote a note to my teacher asking if I could go to the restroom by myself so I didn’t have to take care of it in front of other girls.  Not only was this embarrassing enough, but the 6th grade teacher was a man!  In 6th grade all toilet stalls did not have a door, so there was no privacy.  I was terrified, not wanting anyone to know what was happening to me.

 

I know there are girls out there that are going through the same things I did.  I know there are others who probably have it worse because they are in situations where they can’t get a hold of or afford the needed supplies.  I know when I was 12 I had no clue these things even existed!

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So let’s talk about Yarn for Menstrual Health campaign.  A woman named Haseeta together with Morines Shop and the African Girl Foundation started this campaign.  It was created to bring  awareness about the unhygienic circumstances most school girls across Kenya endure during their menses. She along with the ladies in her group had pledged to make 1,000 hats to be distributed by the African Girl Foundation where they will also distribute menstrual packs to various schools in 2021.

Their aim is to normalize conversations on menstrual health. Similarly, they are raising funds to equip everyone in need with reusable sanitary kits.  These sanitary kits cost $10 and consists of 4 reusable pads and washing soap to last an entire year.  How awesome is this?!

Not only is menstrual hygiene an issue in Kenya, but this is an issue young girls in the US face as well.  Some schools are starting to talk to girls about menstrual hygiene and how to prepare them on how to handle it.  But this is still a subject no one likes to hear about.

Poverty, no matter where it is at, plays a huge roll in menstrual hygiene.  Most young girls and women can’t afford to purchase the sanitary products they need because of the expense.  Some women are having to decide whether to buy sanitary products or food.  How awful would it be if you or your child had to choose one of these options?

To help bring awareness to young girls and women, there are many great organizations out there that are trying to raise awareness about menstrual health and hygiene.  The Yarn for Menstrual Health is one of these great organizations.  You can find out more about this campaign at the link below.

https://www.lovecrafts.com/en-gb/c/article/yarn-for-menstrual-health-campaign

https://www.morinesshop.com/yarn-for-menstrual-health-a-plea-to-do-more/

Here in the US, you can find more information about menstrual hygiene at everydayhealth.com and sanitary ways to handle periods for young girls and women.

If you would like to take part or learn more about Yarn for Menstrual Health visit this link.

I designed a red hat specifically for this campaign.  It is called the Wattle Stitch Beanie.  $3, part of the proceeds, will go to the African Girl Foundation to help in raising menstrual hygiene awareness.  You can find a copy of the Wattle Stitch Beanie in my Ravelry Store by clicking on the image of the beanie below.  Please help me support Menstrual Awareness!

Wattle Stitch Beanie

 

Also here are some things you can do to support this campaign and crochet a red hat in support of Menstrual Health.

Use #YarnForMenstrualHealth

  • Crochet or Knit a maroon or red hat
  • Take a photo of yourself wearing the hat and share it on social media
  • Share your menstrual health journey or what you would like to improve regarding menstrual health using #YarnForMenstrualHealth in your caption
  • Provide a link to this post so others can read about the campaign

Do you have a story to tell?  Would you like to share it?  You can email me at jo@joscraftyhook.com or add it in the Comments section of this post.

 

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