TEXT: LAURA SÁNCHEZ
Cushions against breast cancer
The Asociación Amigas del Patchwork (the Patchwork Friends’ Association), a group of 15 women and a teacher from the Galician town of Noia, hand-make more than 200 heart-shaped cushions a year to donate to women who have recently undergone mastectomies. They not only give these women a
boost and encouragement, but they are also a tool to help them cope with the postoperative process in a
more bearable way, as the cushions are anatomically beneficial.
Their benefits include preventing the arm from rubbing against the wound, supporting the arm, shoulder and neck muscles, providing the proper posture, comfort and safety needed in the postoperative period following breast cancer surgery. The heart has a very pronounced indentation, so that it can fit snugly under the arm on the side of the breast that has been operated on. At the same time, it cushions the affected area from bumps and jostling and, on an emotional level, it boosts the patients’ self-esteem and lets them know they are not alone.
This is why the women from the association look for “bright and cheerful” colors and, once they have found them, they wash the fabrics at 40ºC and iron them. After this process, two members of the organization are in charge of cutting them to the precise measurements. The cushion filling is also bought specifically because it has to be 100% cotton. When the cushions are finished (they take just one hour to sew together), they become part of one of the two batches that are sent to the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago each year.
These cushions are used, literally, to cushion the physical pain, as well as the emotional distress of women who have recently undergone this challenging surgery. In fact, some of the volunteers in charge of making the cushions have themselves gone through the process, so they are very aware of the feelings and emotions experienced in those difficult moments, and they stress that it is essential to know that you are not alone.
Raising awareness of menstrual poverty
The UN estimates that there are 1.8 billion women of menstruating age in the world, 500 million of whom do not have access to basic sanitary products for their menstruation: this includes pads, tampons, as well as the newer solutions that have hit the market. This is compounded by a lack of education on the issue —menstruation remains taboo in many countries around the world— and an inability to access clean water.
One country where menstrual poverty is overwhelming is Kenya, where an estimated 65% of women do not have access to sanitary products. Either because they cannot afford them or because they are unaware of their existence, menstruation supplies are a real luxury for Kenyan girls.
Many young people living in these countries hide their periods or do not want to go to school because they are ashamed to let others know that they bleed on those days. Some girls hide it because it means they have grown up and are ready to get married.
For this reason, Save a Girl, Save a Generation has made a documentary called The Menstrual Gap, which exposes the inequality to which women in many parts of the world are subjected because they have their periods, and the high price they often have to pay to cope with them Every time this documentary is shared on social media with the hashtag #themenstrualgap, the organization will receive a one euro donation. https://www.saveagirlsaveageneration.org/
Give me a charity meal
The number of people in the world in need of food aid continues to increase at an alarming rate: 690 million people in the world (almost 9% of the population) suffer from hunger-related problems. That is why Spain’s hospitality sector is rallying together under the Hospitality Against Hunger initiative, which for the first time is bringing together different establishments in the sector, including restaurants, bars, cafeterias and hotels.
This initiative goes further than its predecessor, Restaurants Against Hunger, which had been running for twelve consecutive editions and raised more than 1.4 million euros. In total, 9,000 restaurants have taken part and more than 30,000 anti-malnutrition treatments have been collected.
The organization Action Against Hunger is in charge of coordinating this campaign, and it is predicting a high level of involvement from hotel and restaurant owners. There are two different ways to participate: on the one hand, hotel and catering establishments that wish to show their solidarity can pay an annual fee depending on the donation they wish to make. On the other hand, they have the option of preparing a solidarity meal or dish, so that when their customers order this, part of the cost will be converted into an extra donation to Action Against Hunger.
Consumers can check the list of participating establishments on the campaign website. https://hosteleriacontraelhambre.accioncontraelhambre.org/