The Forgotten Ones: The Impact of Street Boys Lacking Access to Underwear
It is not uncommon to see young boys living on the streets in worn-out or tattered clothes that are either too big or too small and are mismatched. However, one crucial detail often goes unnoticed: the lack of underwear.
Boys living on the streets face many challenges, and one of the most significant is their inability to access underwear. This problem profoundly impacts their physical health, emotional well-being, and quality of life.
Because most street-connected boys do not have the luxury of owning underwear, they are at risk of various health problems. Without this crucial protective layer, their skin is exposed to friction and constant rubbing, resulting in painful rashes, sores, and infections in sensitive areas. Poor hygiene worsens these issues, making them more susceptible to urinary tract infections and related ailments. Because they don’t have access to adequate healthcare, most end up neglecting their health, prolonging their suffering.
Access to clean and appropriate underwear enables us to maintain dignity and self-esteem. But, for street boys who already experience difficulties related to their living circumstances and social prejudices, the absence of underwear brings an extra level of embarrassment and humiliation, causing a further decline in their self-esteem. These young individuals often feel excluded, helpless, and undervalued, which can adversely affect their mental well-being and hinder their ability to escape the cycle of street life.
Not having underwear makes street boys more susceptible to exploitation and abuse. Their compromised physical appearance and lack of proper clothing can attract negative attention and expose them to various forms of exploitation, including sexual abuse and human trafficking. The absence of this essential item puts them in a vulnerable position, subjecting them to further harm and depriving them of their rights to safety and protection.
Not able to afford at least one pair of underwear, boys living on the streets face negative impacts on their health, dignity, and overall well-being. The Shule Foundation has launched the “Boxers for Street Boys: Restoring Confidence and Dignity One Pair at a Time” campaign to address this issue. We are seeking donations of boxer shorts in various sizes for males aged 6-19.
To join us in our efforts to give the boys their dignity back, click here to shop Shule Foundation Wishlist on Amazon to donate. All you have to do is purchase a pack or two and send them directly to our New York offices. The underwear will be distributed during our outreach program at our Drop-In-Center in Kisenyi Slum. July 31, 2023, will be the first of many boxer short distribution parties.
Together, we can help improve the lives of boys living on the streets by providing them with clean and appropriate underwear. This small but crucial gesture can restore their dignity and ensure they have a basic necessity that they deserve – a pair of underwear. Let’s ensure that no child is left without this essential item, which many of us take for granted.
Are you looking for ways to get your kids involved? Encourage them to organize an underwear drive at their school! Our boys will create a thank-you video at our Boxer Shorts Distribution Party mentioning your child and their school. It’s a great way to inspire kids to give back and make a difference.
Do you know of any underwear companies that might be interested in collaborating with us? Please let us know. Our goal is to gather enough underwear all year round to ensure that every boy has proper undergarments and isn’t forced to “Go Commando.”