The Yonkofa Project
The Yonkofa Project is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing sustainable healthcare in third world countries. They establish medical clinics in rural Ghana that provide care previously unavailable in those areas. They also have a program called "Keep Girls in School Campaign". The Yonkofa Project has teamed up with Crafting Change to provide school kits for students attending the schools around their clinics. Each kit includes a notebook, two pencils, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, two pens, a planner, and a ruler. All items are distributed in a hand-sewn bag. They realized that these school kits would much better serve middle school girls if they included reusable menstrual pads. They would like to add them to all girls’ school kits, and to have additional menstrual kits of 3-6 reusable pads available for girls who attend their clinics and have not received a school kit through their school.
what are we crafting?
Quantity Still Needed
Menstrual Pad Size 8" to 9" Medium (1 Zorb)
Menstrual Pad Size 8" to 9" Heavy (2 Zorb)
Menstrual Pad Size 10.25 Medium (1 Zorb)
Menstrual Pad Size 10.25 Heavy (2 Zorb)
1) Hand Sewn Back Packs in 2 styles.
First: Up-cycled T-shirts transformed into draw-string back-packs. Ensure your t-shirts are clean and free of stains. Ensure there are no inappropriate logos featured (drugs/alcohol/weapons).
Second: A simple sewn one using fabric and cording. This is a great project for your heavier cotton fabrics that are too heavy for mask making! Have a question about making the backpacks? Ask our Advisory Board Member Sewing Member Kathy Lawrence email@example.com.
Please don't use camouflage fabric as this only used by military in Ghana. Also, the color combinations of red/black or white/black is reserved for funerals so if you have a batik fabric that is red/black or white/black only please don't use. (plain red or plain black is fine, and red and black in combination with other colors is also fine such as red/black/white combos, etc.)
Let's not use Christian holiday fabric, or other Holiday themed fabric. (like Easter bunnies, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Santa, etc.) These bags are to be used year round and many girls are Muslim.
They LOVE LOVE LOVE soccer and any team from around the world would be welcomed, so if you find soccer themed fabric or fabric with any team from around the world they would adore that! I found some fabric with Manchester United that was a huge hit
Use fabric that looks like you got it in America, we are not trying to use fabric that looks like we got it in Africa. They are very excited to get something made for them in the USA. (Don't make it out of American flags, but fabric that is from our culture is amazing!) We aren't trying to send them something that looks like it was made in their village. They want something that looks like it was made over here for them. They love our fabrics. So find fun "Americanized Fabrics" for junior high aged girls. The novelty fabrics at our fabric stores are full of great ideas. Have fun, be creative!
2) Hand Made Reusable Menstrual Pads. Without these essential items, girls miss school. We have patterns and tutorials available and have partnered with our friends at Adam & Carolyn Create on Etsy to provide discounted 3D Templates to our craftivists. Come to the FaceBook Group to see how to get these at a discount.
We are putting kits together that include 2 medium and 2 heavy pad per kit. We do not need panty liners or light day pads. Girls are able to wear heavy and medium pads any day of their periods, but can only wear light day pads the first days. Making all pads the most helpful makes our kits more useful. Ensure your topper fabric is dark, colorful, patterned or busy to help camouflage stains. White/light/pastels are not good choices for toppers. We need a variety of lengths. so feel free to use any template size from the 8.5 inch length to the largest 10.5" length or any size in between. Our focus is on the junior high aged girl so we prefer to receive more of the 8-9" length. Please label the pads by their absorbency and length prior to shipping. to help us at HQ put them in to the right aged group kit and get each girl 2 of each absorbency.
We have a lot of resources below for constructing menstrual pads. Please read through the Project Overview Sheet first and then review the other resources. If you have questions, contact us. We also have discounted wholesale supplies available for you to get direct from us. Please visit our Keep Girls In School Campaign Page for info.
Requirements for snaps: We now require that each pad regardless of length or absorbency has 2 snaps. This ensures that if/when one snap breaks there is still one functioning snap on it for the user. If you apply your own snaps test the snap at least 3 or 4 times to ensure it functions.
If you don't have a Kam-snap machine, don't worry! Or if you have problems putting the snaps on...No problem! Ship them to Crafting Change HQ WITHOUT the snaps and we will apply them for you!
Have a question about Menstrual Pads email our Executive Director Tiffany Tiffany@craftingchange.org OR one of our good sewing friends who has made hundreds of pads Martha Martha@craftingchange.org or Carol Carol@craftingchange.org
3) Wet Bags- These essential items have two main functions. To hold the soiled pads and serve as a vessel to clean the pads. These must be waterproof. We have one approved pattern for these bags. It is a tried and true method for making a waterproof bag. If you have questions about constructing this pattern, please contact Martha. When making a wet bag you place your PUL (polyurethane laminate) with the shiny side of the fabric to the inside of the bag. The shiny part of the fabric is the waterproof part and it goes on the inside, even if it is the "pretty" or printed part. All PUL is different and some companies print on the shiny part. It doesn't matter. Shiny goes on the inside. If you have questions about your PUL fabric, please ask us we are here to help. Come to a Zoom room, or email Martha firstname.lastname@example.org
4) Soap Sacks - To encourage good hygiene during their menstrual cycles, we will be including a soap sack and bar of soap in each kit. The Yonkofa Project will provide all the soap once our kits arrive in Georgia for shipping to Ghana. We will take all types of Soap Sacks: Sewn, Knit and Crochet.
5) Crochet & Knit Bandages- We are making cotton bandages for a clinic Ghana. We have 5 approved yarns and a very specific pattern approved for this project. You must be an experienced crochet or knitter to participate and be able to check your gauge. It is a simple pattern but consistency and gauge are important. Everything you need to know can be found on this information sheet.
UNDERWEAR: We do put 2 pairs of underwear in each kit. We use girls size 12/14/16 in our kits. We provide extra pairs of size 10 and women's size 5 to the schools for girls that fall outside of this standard size range. We have underwear on our Amazon Wish List, but often Fruit of the Loom has great BOGO sales as and your local retailers like Target/Walmart will have some on clearance! We are always accepting underwear for our kits. Main need right now (as of 3/13/22) is size 16.
If you are new to making menstrual pads or wet bags, we encourage you to come to a Zoom Room, many of us in Zoom have experience making the pads and are happy to help you and answer questions! Check the Events tab on our Facebook group or the next Zoom Room.
***PLEASE NOTE: we can NOT accept any menstrual pads made with VINYL or other material that is not PUL or pads that do not have waterproof PUL covering the entire underside of the pad. PUL is the only fabric proven waterproof and SAFE. We also require all menstrual pads to have an approved core layer such as Zorb. The girls have placed their trust in us to have the pads work. Therefore pads going into kits from Crafting Change must meet our specifications. We have provided lots of resources to help you craft the best pads possible and have the approved supplies available, please contact us for help or to obtain the proper supplies.***
menstrual pads and wet bags
Volunteers ship their donations for The Yonkofa Projects to Crafting Change HQ where we assemble them into kits prior to shipping to them to load into cargo containers for the long journey to Ghana. When they arrive here we put them together with donated underwear into a large ziploc bag with instructions on how to use the pads. Please do not ship these directly to The Yonkofa Project in GA, if you do, they end up having to pay shipping to get them to us.
NEW! Ship ANYTIME DURING THE MONTH!
Crafting Change HQ
PO BOX 41631
Eugene, OR 97404
Crafting Change HQ
255 River Avenue #41631
Eugene, OR 97404
If your box will cost you more than $15 to ship, consider this option: get a $15 UPS label from Give Back Box and ship up to 50 pounds and 108" in girth to Crafting Change by clicking on our link here. We have had some issues with them reissuing the same tracking number, please ensure your label does not have the following tracking number:
If it does, please email them at email@example.com and ask for a new label that has not been used.