This article first appeared in Ponsonby News
The Uplift Project has been overwhelmed by the support of women who have turned up at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market with their unwanted but usable bras to be donated to Pacific Island women.
In the Pacific Islands rural and remote communities women often live on subsistence economies and do not have the financial means to buy the bras that are needed to improve their well being. A new bra can cost 10-30 hours worth of wages, any extra of which women will often spend on other family members and children before purchasing something for themselves. Unfortunately the consequences of not wearing a bra can include skin irritations, fungal infections, abscesses and rashes, especially in hot and humid climates.
The Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away group have a bright pink bin located at the reuse depot at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market for collecting the bras. The group has been very impressed with the support the Uplift Project has received from the local community. “Since we set up the collection bin at the Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away stand at the Market in July 2013 we have filled the bin twice over,” says Lynn Green, who initiated the collection as one of the Waste Away group’s waste minimisations projects.
“We’ve been really grateful for the good quality bras that have been dropped off by local women who have often gone to a big effort to have a clean out of their lingerie drawer. We particularly value maternity bras and bras for post operative support.” says Ms Green.
The Uplift Project, with centres in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and South Africa, has so far collected and distributed 750,000 new bras since its beginnings in 2005.
A recent grateful recipient of a bra delivery in Fiji explained, “…what you did today will bring endless smiles to our ladies. Please thank all the people that made this possible. We cannot thank you enough for this greatest gift”.
The Uplift Project collection bin and re-use depot is next to the Waste Away stall at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market every Sunday of the month (except the last Sunday) at the Grey Lynn Community Centre from 9am to 12.30pm. The stall, staffed by Waste Away volunteers, is great for information about waste minimisation, composting ideas and a range of products like Ideal cups and string bags. Jam jars, containers, plastic bags and egg cartoons can also be dropped off (or collected) at the re-use depot at the market.
Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away is an enthusiastic, motivated group of community volunteers who meet regularly and has some exciting projects coming up in 2014. Email the wasters on greylynn2030wasteaway@gmail.