This Saturday (May 28) the Victoria Youth Council is hosting its Let it Flow donation drive for menstrual products, at the Esquimalt High parking lot from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The council prioritized the project during their conversation on International Women’s Day, March 8. Instead of hosting the march, the council of six members ages 15 to 25 decided to do something to give back to female-identifying residents of Victoria, said council member Annika Mai.
Nearly a quarter of women in Canada suffer from financial instability, she said, and are often forced to choose between food one day and proper menstrual products the other. Products donated Saturday will go to Foundry Victoria’s Period Project, which creates product packages for those in need, to be distributed by Sanctuary Youth Centre, Pandora Youth Apartments, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Quadra Village Community Centre, Island Health’s YT5 team and others.
On top of collecting products, Mai said the youth council’s goal for this event is to spread awareness of period poverty in Victoria. “There’s a lot of numbers that come out of the United States, but not a lot locally. This is a problem in our city as well.”
Young women across the city, particularly those experiencing homelessness, sometimes use toilet paper as a menstrual product substitute as opposed to reaching out for support in accessing products, an alternative that’s neither comfortable nor safe, Mai said.
“The more understanding and less stigma surrounding periods will allow for more access … if you’re not embarrassed to ask for a product, you’re more likely to be able to receive them.”
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