A journalism student contacted me to ask some questions about the Bras for Africa collection we are involved with. Check out the Press page on my website if you want to learn more. http://www.breastmates.co.nz/press.html and also this page www.breastmates.co.nz/africa.html
1) In a sentence or two, what is the 'Bras for Africa' campaign all about? The campaign is about collecting preloved bras that are then distributed to women in Zimbabawe. Most women have a bra or two that they are no longer wearing, but yet still in good condition, so we have been collecting them up to give to women that have very little.
2) When did this idea come to you? and how? (Dates (months) to be specific) I was notified about this collection initiative from the company that supplies the maternity bras that I sell on my website www.breastmates.co.nz. This company is HOTmilk and they told me about the idea to start a collection to support Zimbabawean women. I was told about this campaign, and asked to participate on 21/1/2009.
I believe HOTmilk had heard about the campaign through the Knickers for Africa charity. There is also a women named Morag Roy, a Zimababwean now living in Australia who travelled back to her home country and saw the need.
I thought I would use some of the contacts through my business to promote the word. I sent out a newsletter to my database of customers. Most women, mothers in particular, have bras that they nolonger fit especially after having children so it seemed the perfect way to collect a lot of bras.
3) Why is it a passion for you to do this campaign? Well I do love lingerie!!
4) Why did you think to give Bras to Africa and not things such as money, education, school stationary? Well I know that women and children in Africa and Zimbabwe need anything and everything, they have nothing. Sure there probably are more important things they could do with first. But bras align with my business so it was something that fit quite well. I didn’t realize the response that I would have had, now over 4,000 bras in the past month.
5) How are you hoping to help people in Africa particularly Zimbabwe with the Bras for Africa Campaign? I have been told by the organizers, that if a women in Zimbabwe owns a bra it can help give them prestige and confidence, and this can help prevent abuse. If just one of these bras helps a women in this way, then I believe that it will have been worth all my time. Plus I hope that the women who receive this items, knows that other people in the world care about them.
6) What are your thoughts on people who believe this campaign is not going to help Africa? Well I would like to ask these people what THEY are doing that could help Africa, and maybe I can be involved in that.
7) Are you hoping to set up another campaign other than Bras in the forseeable future? If so, what? Initially I was just going to do the bras, but I have felt very rewarded doing this bra collection, so yes I would hope to do more in the future.
I would like to acknowledge the support that I have received from so many people with regards to this collection. Many people have started “mini-collections” at their places of work and have dropped big boxes off to me. I have had donations from women, girls, grandmothers, women who have gained weight, women who have lost weight, women who have had mastectomies, and even some transsexuals and cross-dressers!
I would also like to acknowledge Express Logistics Ltd who have already taken the first truckload of now 4,000+ bras from me, and who along with HOTmilk will be transporting the container.
For more information, please refer people to my website www.breastmates.co.nz