I am in a liminal space here in Iowa after the trip to Kenya and before I get back to North Carolina. My psyche is absorbing the experiences and readjusting. One thing I cannot stop thinking about is that in working with the young girls in Kibera who are traumatized at every level, from starvation, poverty and unfathomable abuse, when they spoke with me one thing they wanted me to know is that they want panties. Underwear. Young women growing into adulthood who do not have the simple undergarments that we take for granted. I have been musing on how I am going to get a large supply of panties to about 2oo young women in a slum in Kibera. It haunts me. I’m going to figure it out. Soon, right away. Any ideas or contributions are welcome.

4 Responses to “Panties”

  1. Laura Says:

    My first thought, Tayria, is this might be a good project for a girl’s school like Hanger Hall (middle school girls). As an alternative school, I bet they would be open to having you visit and tell about your trip to Africa and to creating an awareness/fundraising project that they could do for girls in Africa. I can put you in touch with the Founder if you wish.

  2. Tayria Ward Says:

    Laura, I love this idea. It seems like it would be a lot more meaningful than me just trying to get donations and send them myself. The girls would feel it differently coming from other girls, etc. I’ll be home on Monday, let’s talk about this. Thinking of you with your ritual coming up… xo

  3. gina r. Says:

    You know Tayria, panty raids used to be quite common on college campuses. Maybe it’s time to get the women’s colleges, Greeks, and service learning folks together to host a new and reformed panties-with-a-purpose “Panty Raid”. If the colleges buy in and create a competition among themselves, this could be really big. Plus, if you had one school to set the prototype, they could walk others through the protocol for boxing, mailing, etc. Maybe you could do a U-tube video that could could be sent to links for leaders in these communities to see. UNC-A might be “the” university school to get behind it. Perhaps the University could compete with the private schools. Better yet…if you could get UNC-A and a woman’s colege like Meredith to be the sponsor schools, they could do the leg work of getting other schools involved and really supporting the organizing of the project. This is just off the top of me head. Keep me posted and I will keep thinking.

  4. Diedra Says:

    Those ideas are both great! Go for it!

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