Q&A with The Unmentionables’ Co-Founder Kaleigh Heard
Today we sat down with our CEO and co-founder Kaleigh Heard, to chat about The Unmentionables’ work and how you can help us provide dignity for even more refugees in the future.
The media has stopped covering Greece as much as it used to, is the need still there?
Absolutely. One of the most common misconceptions about the refugee crisis is that just because the media doesn’t cover it, doesn’t mean the problem is not a reality. While the number of refugees in Greece in particular has been declining over the years, political and legal obstacles are still leaving refugees stranded without the comfort of home, and for many, dignity.
Why is dignity so important to provide?
Dignity is something that’s often overlooked as a necessity, but providing dignity and the freedoms associated with it is essential to boost quality of life for refugees. Dignity keeps us human, regardless of the inhumane conditions and circumstances. Dignity is a human right, and everyone deserves to have their dignity.
What other programs do The Unmentionables run to provide dignity for refugees?
Besides our distribution program to provide underwear, feminine hygiene, and contraceptive products to refugees, we’ve recently launched our education and empowerment programs. We currently have six programs that just launched last week, starting with our From Where I Stand program. From Where I Stand is a program to empower refugees from all backgrounds and genders through creative expression via photography. Our other programs that are launching include our Halia Swim School, where we teach refugees how to swim and enjoy the beauty that is Greece, Healthy Relationship programs, safe sex programs, and menstruation education. All of these programs are to help facilitate dignity back into the life of a refugee.
Why is education and empowerment so important?
Distribution is only half the battle. Dignity is empowered through education. Without knowing what there is to know about the products we distribute, in addition to our programs on life skills, how can we expect our distribution process to be effective? The two components work together to amplify dignity, simple as that!
How many people will the education programs benefit?
This #deploydignity trip, we’ll be educating 150 women. As we continue to grow, we hope to get this number into the thousands, and impact and help both men and women of all ages. But we need your support - our mission is only possible thanks to your help.
Do The Unmentionables have any plans to expand?
The Unmentionables is expanding primarily through our education and empowerment programs, but our distribution is up higher than ever thanks to your help.
How can people help?
Any donation is a great donation. You can send an in-kind donation through one of our partners, such as Needslist, through our #Undiegrams campaign (which was what made this #deploydignity trip such a success!), or through a monetary donation. Your monetary donations will directly impact and excel our education programs so we can have more resources to make the programs just that much more effective. But whatever option you chose, we can’t thank you enough for your support. Thank you for helping us give dignity, and send hope.