Thanks to your continued support, we have been able to fund a further 1,500 pairs of underwear for distribution to the refugee community in Athens through The Unmentionables. See their report below;
“After a year and a half of working on the ground in Athens and Chios, The Unmentionables opened a Resource Centre in Exarcheia, Athens, focused on providing a safe and uplifting environment for the displaced community to access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and services. The centre opened in January 2018 and during the months its been open, The Unmentionables has trained 5 Community Educators from displacement backgrounds in sexual and reproductive health education— these five educators now teach daily classes on reproductive health in the centre. But The Unmentionables services don’t stop there. Within the centre, there are backgammon tournaments, table tennis games, baking, movie nights, and photography classes. There is a separate consultation room for medical and psychosocial appointments that are directly related to sexual and reproductive health, and emergency accommodation is provided to those who have experienced sexual or gender based violence. There are two bathrooms, available to be signed out every half hour for a hot shower, and, there’s the free shop.
The Unmentionables free shop features all the things that you feel awkward about buying when you get to the checkout at a pharmacy. It provides underwear, bras, every menstrual health product you can imagine, a range of contraceptive methods intimate infection treatments, and pregnancy tests. It is the safe haven for the refugee community to come access these products, which are often provided in public and in general non-food item distributions alongside winter coats and shoes, in a safe, private, and gender-specific environment. The free shop works on a Dignity Dollars system— a set amount of Dignity Dollars are provided each week and individuals can increase their Dignity Dollars budget by taking part in the centre’s many classes and activities. With their Dignity Dollars, individuals can shop the free shop’s inventory, selecting the products they want and need at any given time.
Aegean Solidarity Network Team UK has supported The Unmentionables in their effort to provide underwear to the displaced community in Greece since July of 2017, and has continued with the creation of the centre. 1500 pairs of underwear for men, women, and children arrived to The Unmentionables Resource Centre in February and are already flying off the shelves. Underwear is such a basic item, but without consistent access to clean and dry undergarments an individual’s sense of dignity is easily broken, and their intimate health put at serious risk. For these reasons, The entire team at The Unmentionables Resource Centre is incredibly grateful for the support and friendship of ASN Team UK. While providing undergarments is not the most glamorous work, it is a vital aspect of providing dignity through hygiene and we are so grateful for ASN Team UK’s consistent support!”
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