In this installment of our weekly conversations with Great Cloth Diaper Change Hosts, we talk with Winona van Eck, of EngeltjeBengeltje.com. Winona hosted her first event in Belgium last year and is participating on the overall 2013 GCDC Organizing Committee this year.
We are thrilled to have so much international participation in the GCDC. You’ve been very helpful in organizing events in your region, please share with us the status of GCDC events in Belgium and The Netherlands.
I live in Belgium near the Dutch (The Netherlands) border, and I am organizing two locations, one in Beerse, Belgium, and I’m helping a friend host a location in Breda, The Netherlands. We have 7 locations total in Belgium, which is a big increase from 3 in 2012! The Netherlands has 4 locations in different parts of the country. This year there’s a lot of cooperation between hosts. We’re sharing all our ideas, tips and tricks and we mention each other in our media coverage. Right now we are working on getting GCDC coverage on a national TV show.
Is it challenging to organize an international event like this?
It’s definitely challenging! But I feel extra motivation because the GCDC is an international event. I want to engage as many people as possible and the international character makes it easier to get media coverage.
How common is it for people to use cloth diapers in your area?
In Belgium it’s still not very common to use cloth diapers. Most people do not know anything about the modern cloth diaper. People interested in minimizing their ecological footprint find their way to cloth diapers, but sadly that’s still a very small group of parents. I do notice that if one family uses cloth diapers, other young parents in their circle are more likely to make the switch. I’ve made it my mission to inform parents-to-be about the advantages of cloth. I own an online cloth diaper shop, and I try to promote cloth diapers by convincing people to look at the financial advantages and the ease of use. It’s not always easy, but it’s a very rewarding job!
What is the most rewarding aspect about hosting a GCDC event?
I enjoy the enthusiasm of the participants. It’s rewarding to talk with the people who aren’t using cloth diapers yet, and get them interested to try cloth. The cooperation with other cloth diaper advocates is great and I love the fact that cloth diapers get so much positive attention!
Does the chance to break a Guinness World Record get people excited in your community?
It definitely helps that the event is an official Guinness World Record attempt, especially for media coverage. For most participants it’s a nice extra. I find that for sponsors it’s not specifically important because they are mostly seeking regional attention.
What advice do you have for international and new GCDC hosts?
The last two weeks are still a good time to reach new participants! If you’re an international host, give your own cultural ‘sign’ to the event and link the international character in your media outreach. Maybe you don’t have that many locations in your country (yet), but every location is important! Even if you don’t reach the minimum of 25, there's still the unofficial count. Have fun!
Event Coordinator, Real Diaper Association
For more information on the Great Cloth Diaper Change, visit our website at http://greatclothdiaperchange.com