Who will bring the bras?

Durban businesswoman and entrepreneur Alice Leah was attending a VIP children’s day at the Durban Exhibition Centre for 41 children’s homes earlier this year, when she noticed that most of the teenage girls were not wearing bras. Without thinking to ask why, Alice did what she always does, and turned to social media for help.

Calling on her circle of family, friends and business associates, she urged everyone to collect and donate their gently used bras for the cause and hashtagged it #bringthebras. It wasn’t long before she was flooded with requests by businesses to be drop-off points for the bras – even as far as Pretoria and Jo’burg! Alice has been approached by large corporates who want to jump on board, and has even been contacted by an organisation in the UK that is willing to send her as many bras as she needs, but she needs someone to bring them back to SA for her. Judd of The Prep Room in Glenwood undertook to give away a free cappuccino to anyone donating bras at his coffee shop – a free cup for your cups!

But the campaign has not been without its challenges. Shortly after she embarked on her crusade, she was chastised for wanting to inflict bras on girls who may not want to wear them, or who for cultural reasons would not wear them as it would cast doubt on their purity if they did. After some research, she discovered that the no-bra custom is still very strong in the rural areas, but that generally the cities have abandoned this thinking.

With #bringthebras in its final few weeks, Alice is hoping to have amassed enough bras to be able to donate at least 5 to each teenage girl at the 41 homes in and around Durban, as well as contribute to The Robin Hood Foundation’s “Mahala Market” in November.

When asked why she decided to get involved and do something, instead of just turning a blind eye as most people would have done, Alice explained,

“…if everyone just decided to do one thing, imagine what we could collectively achieve… one drop starts a flood…”.

The finer details and logistics of the distribution have yet to be worked out, but if you would like to assist Alice, by donating bras or helping to get them to where they need to go, please email alice@thealist.co.za

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