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Soroptimists Twin Loos of Hackney’s Luminary Bakery Cafe

Did you know that Soroptimist East London has twinned the loos of Hackney’s Luminary Bakery Cafe? Yes, we’ve just twinned the toilets of Hackney’s fabulous Luminary Bakery with toilets in Pakistan!  Why? It’s part of our support for the charity Toilet Twinning and it’s just a start.  We are “twinning” loos throughout the east end of London.

Why Does Soroptimist East London Twin Toilets?

Why do we twin toilets? The answer is simple – people need safe, clean water and sanitation.  But in many countries some people don’t have it. Soroptimist East London is a women’s organisation. We know that, all around the world, where access to safe, clean water and sanitation is limited, it is women who are most strongly affectedToilet Twinning provides clean water, basic latrines and hygiene education in some of the poorest communities in the world.

What do People Say?

Alice of the Luminary Bakery said “It’s great to work with East London Soroptimists’ on this project. In twinning the toilet of the Luminary Bakery we know that we are supporting women and children far away in Pakistan to have access to decent sanitary provision preventing disease and saving lives.”  Soroptimist Alison Charles has been at the forefront of this project. She says “it’s really a pleasure to be able to support both the women of Luminary Bakery and also women far away in Pakistan. The Luminary does invaluable work in training and supporting vulnerable women to learn new skills and to support them into employment – and they also run a really fabulous café right here in Hackney.  Soroptimist East London is a strong supporter of the Luminary and participates in their mentoring women into employment program. We’re proud to support them.”

Toilet Twinning CEO Lorraine Kingsley has praised the group for their work saying ‘We’re so grateful to the East London Soroptimists – and to the many other Soroptimist groups across the country who are supporting us. Women and girls have most to gain from having a proper toilet – and suffer most from not having one. They are at risk of attack if they have to squat in the bush – and teenage girls miss a lot of lessons when they reach puberty if there are no proper loos at school. In the remote and very poor communities where we work, even a simple pit latrine can literally be a lifesaver so the East London Soroptimists can be sure their support will radically transform a family’s life!’

The Hackey Gazette was so impressed they featured our project. You can read more here.

Does Twinning A Toilet Empower Women?

Does twinning a toilet really empower women? The answer is yes.

In many countries people lack safe drinking water, adequate sanitation or hygiene facilities at home and in places of work and education. According to the United Nations women are particularly affected and “it is disproportionately harder for women and girls to lead safe, productive, healthy lives.”

There are three main reasons why:

1. women and girls usually bear the responsibility for collecting water – this is often very time-consuming and arduous.

2. women and girls are vulnerable to abuse and attack while walking to and using a toilet or open defecation site.

3. women have specific hygiene needs during menstruation, pregnancy and child-rearing.

Does Soroptimist East London Twin Other Toilets?

Soroptimist East London twins women’s toilets in public places throughout the east end of London. Often these are in cafes, galleries or community spaces. We are planning more, so if you are a cafe owner or run a gallery or community space and are interested to work with us, please get in touch!

Want to get involved or learn more?

To get involved or learn more, get in touch with Soroptimist East London!