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Knickers for Knowledge (UK/ Zimbabwe)

Many children in Sub-Saharan Africa are deprived of education. Girls of post-puberty age are further disadvantaged due to the shortage of school segregated toilets with water and lack of sanitary pads. A girl loses approximately 13 learning days in every school term, or up to 24 weeks out of a possible 144 weeks of learning over a 4 year period. This results in poor achievement and high drop-out rate in schooling.

Used clothes collected for sale, with proceeds going to SI Bulawayo to purchase "knickers" for schoolgirls

Used clothes collected for sale, with proceeds going to SI Bulawayo to purchase “knickers” for schoolgirls


This club worked in partnership with their friendship link SI Bulawayo by financially supporting the purchasing of sanitary wear and ‘knickers’ for the girls in need. Locally they collected used clothes, textiles etc. , bagged them, and sold them to a clothes recycling company to raise funds. The funds were then transferred to the club in Bulawayo to buy knickers and sanitary wear for girls living in the poorer rural areas to enable them to attend school regularly. This project is enabling girls to continue their education uninterrupted.

The latest report from Bulawayo tells us that the funds were used to buy knickers for ALL of the girls of Chithekani Primary School, an extremely deprived area. The knickers were handed over on March 8th to celebrate International Women’s Day.

This is a successful and worthwhile project which is on-going and growing as more of the local public hear of the campaign and contribute clothing/textiles, which also means good publicity for SI! The club gave a short presentation to one of the local Women’s Institutes, in addition to local media coverage.

Club: SI Barnstaple, Friendship Club: SI Bulawayo,  PFR: 29560

*This is one of the International Programme Directors’ Picks. They say:

This project is a very simple idea that has real effect helping young girls to attend school – absolutely what our Educate Empower Enable focus is all about. A clever and catchy title helps with publicity, an ask that can be fulfilled easily and can widen out to ask the general public, and a good use of friendship links. All in all a winning Soroptimist project “.

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