IF THE mental image your mind produces when you picture a women in the developing world, is that of one without a bra; this is most likely not by choice. For many disadvantaged communities a bra is simply, unobtainable or unaffordable.
A bra provides dignity, the ability to exercise and also acts to protect the breasts when a woman is performing manual labouring tasks.
Since 2005, with the assistance of Intimo and Rotary Australia World Community Service, the Uplift Project has sent over a million bras to various locations across the globe, wherever women in need have requested them.
Some such locations include, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Botswana, Uganda and Pakistan, Fiji, PNG, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Tonga, Solomon Islands, the Philippines, Bali and closer to home; several remote communities in the Northern Territory and the Kimberley regions of Australia.
The Uplift Project collects new and used bras from designated drop off/collection points and ships them off to those in need.
One such collection point is Emerald Bank’s AOK Healing Centre, a newly allocated site accepting donations, instigated by business owner and former nurse, Michelle Newten.
“I heard about the work of the charity on a recent Sunday night program and thought, ‘I know I can help – I’ll personally collect them and drop them off’,” Michelle said.
“It’s a no-brainer for me, I regularly travel to Melbourne and back to purchase and collect stock, so I just thought – why not?”
“I’ve always supported charities that help women and children. I always want to help support other women.”
So Michelle contacted Uplift directly and quickly became a local drop off point.
“People can now bring their old bras into the shop (AOK Healing Centre at Emerald Bank), we’re open seven days, so they can come by whenever suits and drop them in.
“We’re also taking donations of old socks, maternity bras, mastectomy bras, swim wear, fabric nappies and new undies”, she said.
The AOK Healing Centre is accepting donations now and is located at Emerald Bank 7715 Goulburn Valley Highway, Kialla.