Don’t get knickers in a knot, donate them

March 15, 2017

Helping hands: Jane Bowman, Rachel McKay, Bridget Goulding and Kirby Duffin look at some of the 857 pairs of underwear donated locally to the Knickers for Nairobi campaign.

More than 1000 pairs of underwear donated locally will be making their way to some of the poorest residents in one of the world’s biggest slums in a bid to encourage children, especially girls and women, to access education.

Briget Goulding saw the Knickers for Nairobi campaign, started by the Mt Beauty Uniting Chuch, running in Wodonga and decided to see if the Moira area could help out.

Knickers for Nairobi aims to provide underwear to some of the poorest residents in a Nairobi slum called Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya, where an estimated 800000-plus people live in an area of 250ha.

The underwear collected is distributed by charity Women for Women in Africa, which aims to provide dignity and sanitary freedom, particularly for young girls, by having access to underwear and increase the opportunity for girls and women in Africa to access education.

‘‘I thought as the social issues secretary for the Baulkamaugh CWA that it was something we could be involved in, and took it to our next meeting,’’ Mrs Goulding said.

A quick chat with Rachel McKay at Cobram BP saw a donations tub set up in shop, and before long, hundreds of pairs were flowing in.

So far, the donation box has recorded 857 pairs, along with the CWA’s donations, with more to come.

Mrs Goulding said the local campaign was a credit to the ‘‘amazing, community-minded’’ Mrs McKay.

‘‘It’s been amazing. We thought we might have a few bags with 50 in them, but to have almost a thousand just from the box here at BP, it’s terrific,’’ she said.

‘‘I want to thank Rachel and the entire community of the Cobram-Barooga and surrounding region who’ve supported it.

‘‘The fact that these people don’t have access to something so simple that we take for granted every day was an eye-opener.’’

She said it showed the depths of generosity of the region, which was still feeling the effects of the milk price drop, to dig deep and support people who were suffering from abject poverty.

Mrs McKay said the community response had been amazing.

‘‘I had one lady who I knew put $50 in my bank account to go and buy as many pairs as I could to donate,’’ she said.

Following the success of the campaign, the donation bin will remain at BP Cobram until the end of the month, with people urged to drop off new underwear, especially ones suitable for young girls, teenagers and women.

The appeal also welcomes the donation of bras in good, clean condition.

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