Local woman to drive to Gambia in charity bra appeal
Angela Ferguson is asking females on the Rock to donate their ‘gently used and freshly washed bras’ to help young girls and women in The Gambia.
Next month, Ms Ferguson aims to drive to The Gambia having taken a ferry from Algeciras in a car that will be auctioned off for charity when she arrives there.
Bras are expensive in The Gambia and not wearing one is seen as a sign of poverty which increases the risk a female may be sexually assaulted or even raped.
Her desire to assist young girls and women in The Gambia came from helping a couple, David and Terri Harmston, run a pub quiz night to raise funds for a charity they funded called Nyland Knights, which aimed to provide sponsorship for children to go to school there.
“David would discuss with me what The Gambia was like and he was talking about how they set up a credit union type women’s market and he casually said one day ‘going braless is a symbol of poverty in The Gambia and a bra can literally change someone’s life’,” she said.
“I am a western middle class women and I could not understand what this meant and how this could be in our age and further research shows that if there are women without bras they are more likely to be abused, possibly raped and verbal abuse.”
“A bra is a status symbol and like in most cultures throughout the world the more status symbol you are perceived to have the more they revere you. If you don’t have that because they are so expensive or are ill-fitting then they are more prone to verbal and sexual abuse,” she added.
The type of bra is important, training bras for young girls and sports bra are very welcome as are maternity, breastfeeding and mastectomy bras.
However, Ms Ferguson asks that people do not donate bras that may be classed as racy or sexy, these are not appropriate for women in The Gambia.
All colours and sizes are needed regardless of back or cup size.
She helped with the delivery of 250 bras to the area on a previous occasion and learnt from that that it was one thing to get a bra and another to have it fitting correctly.
“Aimee Jays here in Gibraltar contacted me and very kindly offered to give me instructions on exactly how to measure to get the correct bra size for women,” she said.
“They are donating bras as well.”
This shop in the ICC is also a drop off place for bras, as is Aura Beauty in Euro Towers where there is a pink laundry basket where people can just place the bras they are donating.
There are further drop off points in Sabinillas, Spain, at Bravuras.
Marks and Spencer are donating bras and are providing instruction leaflets so that women can assist other women in measuring their bra size correctly.
Ms Ferguson hasn’t purchased the car she will driving yet.
She will be in her own car driving solo but in a convoy of 15 other vehicles which will also be auctioned off for charity. It is expected the 4,000km journey down will take her three weeks.
She is also seeking other female products such as underwear, which needs to be along the line of “granny knickers, Bridget Jones knickers” and new.
“It is a very Muslim country so we are going to air on the side of caution and we are looking at less intimate products, less tampons more pads. Especially for the young girls as well because I know that they are expensive and I don’t know how they cope with that,” she said.
The Europa Stormers Rugby Club have donated rugby jerseys ‘stripes’ for young boys in the area which Ms Ferguson will take with her.
Ms Ferguson is also seeking funds to help reach her destination, to donate to the cause go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thebrarungambia1