The Wendy Cocker Award for Endeavour 2018

Nadia Jones

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Staff Nurse and Yellowman Nadia Jones has been awarded Senlac Rotary’s prestigious Wendy Cocker Award for Endeavour for her work with the Yellowmen team in Kenya. Nadia, a 26 year old nurse at the Conquest Hospital and who lives in Eastbourne has visited the Pokot area of northwest Kenya three times and is part of the Yellowmen’s medical team. Nadia instigated the successful "Knickers Project" to provide girls with sanitary towels and knickers and was also involved with her colleague, Hannah Gibson, in raising funds to provide a motorbike for the village nurse so many more people and remoter areas could be reached

The Award was presented by Eddie McCall, the Yellowmen organiser, who explained that every day 800 million people around the world have their period. The average woman menstruates for more than eight years during her but periods are still shrouded in secrecy and taboo. In West Pokot where the Yellowmen work, the problem for girls is made worse by the fact that despite some enlightenment as far as the taboo of menstruation is concerned and despite the fact that several charities try to ensure that sanitary towels are available, most girls have to make do with scraps of rags instead of towels which they cannot afford.

Eddie continued saying, “It was Nadia's original idea that the Yellowmen should do something about this problem and so starting in February 2018 large quantities of sanitary towels were taken to Pokot and distributed to girls in local schools It was following this first round of distribution that local some local teachers pointed out that not all girls had access to knickers with which to keep the sanitary towels in place. Nadia then put forward and co-ordinated the “Knicker Project” to raise money to purchase more of the needed knickers.  In September 2018, as well as further supplies of sanitary towels, 1500 pairs of knickers were purchased and delivered to Pokot. The medical and education teams delivered these and thanks to Nadia’s efforts the Yellowmen showed the girls that we can help with the problems and their sanitary health.”

Nadia in accepting the trophy was nearly speechless and said, “It’s a great honour and thank you.”

So far over 10,000 pairs of knickers have been or are being bought and nearly 3,000 packets of sanitary towels distributed.

For more information about the Yellowmen see www.Yellowmen.org.

The Wendy Cocker Award was donated in memory of Wendy by her husband Peter. Both Wendy and Peter were Senlac Rotarians until Wendy’s sad death. Wendy was very much involved with young people and the community and the award is made to a young person who displays exceptional efforts in achieving a project which benefits the community.

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