Who do you serve?
We currently serve those who have been forcibly displaced by conflict or disaster, such as refugees and asylum seekers. We have undertaken work in six countries, with 11 program sites across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and East Africa.
Why "unmentionable" products?
There is inconsistency in the provision of underwear, intimate hygiene products, and sexual health products in humanitarian response, particularly for displaced communities. As a result, refugees are consistently underserved when it comes to these necessities. Not only are these products directly linked to reducing infections and diseases, but they are also tied to increased self-worth and empowerment.
Why is it essential to offer an education component in addition to product distributions?
Distribution is only half the battle and there exists a troublesome gap in sexual and reproductive health knowledge among migrant communities. By emphasizing an education-centric approach, we provide vital SRH information in a safe and consistent way to our beneficiaries, therefore empowering them to make well-informed choices.
Where does my money go? How does it help forcibly displaced people?
In most cases, we work with local suppliers in the field to get the best price possible for products, cut down on international shipping time, and reduce logistical fees. This way, your donations can help as many displaced populations as possible. Donations also go towards continuously improving the effectiveness of our education programs and empowering local refugee leaders by paying them a fair wage through our livelihood programs.
WHERE IS YOUR OFFICE?
Our committed team works remotely across 4 continents, 7 countries, and 7 time zones! We do not have a physical office space for our staff, with the exception of The Unmentionables Resource Center in Athens, where we hold workshops, trainings, and where refugees can access our free “shop” for sexual health and hygiene products.
Where does your funding come from?
The majority of our projects and programs are funded by individual monetary donations, partnerships, and grants. In some cases, donors will make a significant contribution for one particular project. As many of the products that we provide are only short-term solutions, we rely on recurring donations from our generous supporters.
DO YOU GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE OR SERVICES?
We have recently been working on developing our education programs and our crosscutting livelihood approach. We currently educate and train migrant leaders in menstrual health management in Kenya and Athens. Our network of Community Educators then share intimate hygiene knowledge with young people and adults from the local community by leading SRH classes. In addition, we offer consultations for medical and psychosocial support through our medical partners at The Unmentionables Resource Center in Athens.
Why don't refugees buy intimate health products themselves?
The communities we serve have fled their homes to find safety, and have left everything behind. Many people we meet were professionals back home but often do not yet have legal permission to work, so they cannot earn an income to support themselves. In addition, in some cases, there is very little access to services and stores, making our work crucial.
Aren't there fewer refugees now? Hasn't the refugee crisis stopped?
Simple answer: no. There are approximately 65.6 million forcibly displaced people (UNHCR) around the world. The refugee situation in Greece, as well as East Africa, remains a very relevant issue, with significant displaced communities influenced by political, socio-economic, and environmental instability. The total number of refugees worldwide continues to rise, and millions of displaced people live in conditions with very little access to necessary health and hygiene products or services. This is why we will continue to serve these communities.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
There are many ways to get involved. Monetary donations are always appreciated, as they allow us to purchase hygiene items for the communities we serve locally, and sponsor our education and empowerment programs. However, we would not be able to reach our goals without our dedicated volunteers. We are continuously posting volunteer opportunities and internships that we encourage you to apply for. If you are social media savvy, you can also sign up to become a Social Ambassador!