Big Impacts with Your Smalls Appeal
Every day the postman brings a sackful of parcels to the Your Smalls HQ in Leicester.
These parcels come from amazing women across the UK and even across the world. The contents are sorted by the Your Smalls team, boxed up and shipped to communities where they are sorely needed.
What are Your Smalls Appeal sending in these boxes? The clue is in the name!
Without small items that many of us take for granted, everyday life can become a struggle. Things like proper underwear, soap, and sanitary wear might seem small, but they have a huge impact.
Your Smalls Appeal is a charity that supports and empower girls and young women living in developing countries like The Gambia. It was set up in 2016, in response to the difficulties that women and girls in these countries experience every day.
Founder and businesswoman Diana Esho saw an opportunity for women to help each other and the movement has grown hugely in the last three years, gaining support from groups from as far as Doha and Singapore, as well as so many generous donors throughout the UK.
The lack of clean and appropriate sanitary wear in developing countries is a leading cause of poor school attendance for girls. This harms their education and robs them of their potential. In some cases, unsafe methods to absorb menstrual flow are passed down from generation to generation. These methods such as using animal dung or dirty rags, can lead to serious infection or death.
In response to this huge need, Your Smalls Appeal supplies reusable menstruation kits which last three years. These include a bag with a bar of soap, a flannel, a pair of underpants and a reusable soft fabric pad with a fabric insert. The kits are made by women in The Gambia who have been victims of people trafficking. By employing Gambian women, we further support the community by providing them with income and security.
Lack of supportive underwear such as bras and pants has also been a big concern and since 2016 Your Smalls has shipped over 10,000 good quality, used and new bras, new pants and sanitary products. This supports the development of young girls and allows them to attend school feeling secure and safe, especially in cases where wearing a bra is linked to privilege.
Your Smalls has developed strong community links and always seeks to respond to an existing need. In response to feedback, this year our focus is shifting to sanitary products and soap, as well as donations to help keep girls in education. The funding pays for school supplies, tuition fees, uniform and food. By supporting the education of these girls, they are able to access more opportunities. Continued education has been shown to give a host of benefits not only for the girl and any future family but for the entire community.
Now that you know just what a difference small donations and donations of smalls can make, we'd love for you to get involved. They’re currently collecting sanitary products like pads and liners, new pants, and bras that are in good condition - especially those of a smaller cup size!
If your used bras have no life left in them, don't despair! Monetary donations are also welcome as these help pay for shipping: all those pants can be heavy! They also put cash donations towards our education program, sponsoring young girls who otherwise have to leave school.
Your Smalls is set to make big changes. By supporting young women and girls so they are able to continue their education, they seek to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of women all over the world. Visit their website or message them on social media to get involved today.