Knickers. Pants. Bras. The bane of our lives; they’re often too tight, too loose or the wrong colour for our outfit. How insignificant do these problems become though when you learn how an everyday item for one woman is a life-changing blessing for another?
In Africa, some women have access to only one pair of knickers – or none at all. Those that do, are often considered more wealthy or ‘cared for’ by a male relative and therefore seen as less vulnerable. Who knew that underwear could be viewed as a status symbol or that a simple pair of knickers could make a substantial difference to a woman’s safety? Owning underwear can actually help prevent rape.
While sorting out my bra drawer and realising that I had about 15 that were barely worn, I started researching what I could do with them. That’s when I discovered Smalls For All, a charity set up by Maria Macnamara MBE who was inspired after reading an article about the social issues women and children face when they don’t own underwear.
To this date Smalls For All have donated 271,757 items of underwear to women and children in Zimbabwe and Kenya.
It is too easy to donate underwear to Smalls For All; all you have to do is dish out your gently worn bras and pack them in a box. If you can include a packet of ladies or children’s pants – that’s great too; size 8-16 or age 3-15 is all they need. A packet of 4 cotton knickers in M&S is £5. To think that the equivalent cost of 2 cups of coffee could protect a girl or woman from sexual abuse is a harsh reality to accept; but a small price to pay to make a real difference.
So ladies; I am calling upon you to clear out your bra-drobes – find those that you no longer wear, are too big, small, tight or loose and stick them in a box with a packet of knickers. Once you’ve done that, post them to:
Smalls for All
108 Buchanan Crescent,
Eliburn, Livingston, EH54 7EF
Smalls For All make a significant difference to thousands of women every year and let’s face it, now more than ever we need to be sticking together. Happy packing!