Com­mu­nity cre­ates sus­tain­able hy­giene kits

Seaway News - - News - SHAWNA O’NEILL

LONG SAULT, On­tario – When Sharon Miller of the Ro­tary Club of Corn­wall Sun­rise vis­ited Agra, In­dia last year, she wit­nessed first­hand how teenage girls do not have easy ac­cess to fem­i­nine hy­giene prod­ucts.

With­out these prod­ucts, girls of­ten miss school and are some­times forced to drop out.

Miller, who was in Agra dis­pens­ing the Po­lio vac­cine as part of the End Po­lio Now ini­tia­tive, dis­cov­ered an or­ga­ni­za­tion that sells sus­tain­able men­stru­a­tion kits af­ter her trip, how­ever she be­lieved the price of these kits was steep.

As an avid sewer and a strong be­liever that women should have full ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion, she took it upon her­self to spear­head her own project, Go with the Flow. The group cre­ates sus­tain­able men­stru­a­tion kits with sev­eral do­na­tion-based prod­ucts.

On Sun­day, Sept. 23, Miller and nine friends held a pack­ing party to cel­e­brate and or­ga­nize the 100 sus­tain­able fem­i­nine hy­giene kits that they cre­ated since June over the course of 15 sewing par­ties.

One group mem­ber will be vis­it­ing Ghana, Africa soon and will dis­trib­ute 50 on her trip. Miller will be vis­it­ing Agra, In­dia at the end of this year and will take the re­main­ing kits with her.

“I was never told no at any busi­ness that I ap­proached,” said Miller grate­fully in re­gards to dona­tions.

Start­ing off with $500 from the Ro­tary Club, Miller fundraised for the kits and ma­te­ri­als start­ing in June.

Each kit is de­signed to make girls feel beau­ti­ful and keep con­tents dis­crete. In­side a hand­made draw­string bag that can be used as a back­pack, there are eight 100 per cent flan­nel wash­able lin­ers, two 100 per cent cot­ton leak proof shields (with Pul in­side), two pairs of cot­ton un­der­wear, one wash­cloth, a bar of soap and two dis­pos­able tow­elettes. The items are geared to last four to five years and lin­ers re­sem­ble wash­cloths, thus avoid­ing the chance of so­cial stigma­ti­za­tion.

“You can’t save ev­ery­one but you know you can help some­one,” said Miller.

The Go with the Flow project will con­tinue but at a slower pace com­pared to the sum­mer months.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to donate con­tact Sharon Miller at 613-363-5053 or Smiller15943@ Al­ter­na­tively, con­tact the Ro­tary Club of Corn­wall Sun­rise.

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