Following their successful campaign to collect unloved IT equipment for IT Schools Africa, members of Clitheroe Rotary have now taken up the challenge to collect Smalls for All.
Smalls for All is a registered charity and was founded in 2010 by Maria Macnamara who lives in Livingston, Scotland.
Maria set up Smalls for All after taking part in several volunteer trips where she worked in orphanages. It was after she returned from a trip to Ethiopia that Maria knew she wanted to do even more to help if she could.
She had learnt about some of the problems that not having underwear could cause and recognised that there was often a shortage of underwear in poorer parts of Africa.
Many of the women and children had just one pair of pants, or no pants at all. And that’s why Maria decided to set up Smalls for All, a simple response to a real need.
Smalls for All volunteers collect and distribute underwear to women and children in Africa. They help those living in orphanages, slums, Internally Displaced Person camps and schools, as well as providing underwear to hospitals to help those suffering from medical conditions like obstetric fistula.
Underwear is a luxury that some people can’t afford. Giving pants and bras may seem like a small thing, but it can make a huge difference. For example, not having underwear can mean young girls miss days off school each month.
Smalls for All often work with the schools and orphanages people who donate support with their underwear to pay for the education of children too, to give them the opportunity of a better future.
Donations of brand new pants for women and children and new or gently worn bras are needed as well as donations of funds so that the charity can continue to help people through the work it does.
Clitheroe Rotary member Mary Robinson said: “Sending good quality bras and new knickers is a remarkably, and surprisingly, good way to improve the health and status of women and girls in poor areas. I didn’t realise, for instance, that girls who can’t afford underwear miss several days’ school each month, or that having decent underwear makes a woman safer from predatory men.
“Here in Clitheroe we have a great track record helping improve lives in Africa – by collecting unwanted IT equipment, by supporting children’s health and education via Mary’s Meals, and now, thanks to our partnership with ‘Smalls for All’ making a real difference to the lives of women of all ages.
“We hope people will once again lend their support by donating new knickers and new, or lightly used, bras, which can be handed in at Honeywell Estate Agents’ office on Castlegate, Clitheroe.”