M a r k e t N e w s

Plarning ahead: ‘Plastic yarn’ project to provide sleeping mats to Kenyan villages

Posted on : Thursday, 1st September 2016

 Got a little time on your hands and want to do some good?

Join Kenya Relief and some local church members in crafting some much-needed necessities — items that will find their way to the impoverished Third World — out of plarn.
What is plarn?
Short for “plastic yarn,” plarn is made from pretty common, throwaway stuff: grocery bags. Snip off the handles, cut the bags into strips, and you’ve got a surprisingly versatile, durable textile, of sorts, that can be shaped into just about anything.
In Cullman, St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church and Kenya Relief are partnering to craft the material into sleeping mats. Kenya Relief will arrange for the finished products to make their way to Kenya, where, according to St. John’s administrative assistant Karen Hassell, they’ll enrich the quality of life of many in the general population.
“While there are orphanages in Kenya that do have beds, these mats can go to people who live in the villages — because they don’t have beds,” she explained.
“A lot of homes just have tiny bamboo mats, and these [plarn mats] will offer those homes a substantial improvement. The mats can even be used as blankets, so they are actually pretty valuable to people who are lacking in basic necessities.”
The idea for making sleeping mats from the detritus of First-World consumption has been around a while, but this is the first time it’s been put to use, in Cullman, in an organized fashion.
“It’s a new idea to us, but the idea itself has actually been around for a long time,” said Hassell. “A couple of our church members — Evelyn Dahlke and Melanie Herge — approached us with the idea, and we talked with [Kenya Relief founder] Steve James, who recognized that it could be helpful to the people his ministry serves. It’s taken off from there”
The plastic mat project isn’t exclusive to St. John’s, said Hassell. In fact, its participants are hoping to involve as many churches and individuals as they can.
“Oh, the more, the merrier,” said Hassell. “Our theme for convocation is to ‘be a blessing’ this year, and I thought, ‘what better way to be a blessing than to reach across the world and give people somewhere to lay their head?’
“But we definitely don’t want this to just be ‘our’ church project; we’d love to have everybody come and help out. We’d love to get people involved to make as many mats as we can.

Source : www.cullmantimes.com
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