Underwear for children in Tanzania
During a high school trip to Tanzania, Thom Uildriks (BSc International Business Administration 2020) and his friend Spijk Geene noticed that many schoolchildren could not afford underwear. Thom and Spijk were just 16 when they founded Boxrs4ALL to provide underwear to as many people as they can.
What is it about your effort that makes a positive change?
“Boxrs4All sells boxer shorts in the Netherlands. For every pair purchased, the local community in Tanzania makes another pair and gives them to a child whose family cannot afford to buy them. In this way, the company not only contributes to improved health for children, but also contributes to the local Tanzanian economy. After three years in the making, and with the boost from winning the I WILL Award in 2018, Boxrs4All is now looking into sponsorships from companies – and the possibility of an online retailer to scale-up its impact.”
"Seeing the poverty in the favelas, it struck me how lucky I am
to be in the position that I’m in.”
Why do you do it?
“My friend Spijk and I started this because we enjoyed it. We never set out to make money from this initiative. It started with us making sketches of logos and writing up texts. We still really enjoy it and see it as a learning process. We also think it’s important. Years from now, the experience we will have had and the connections we’ll have made will be really valuable. Part of my motivation to do something good might come from having spent some time growing up in Brazil, seeing the poverty in the favelas, and my mother doing voluntary work to help them. It struck me how lucky I am to be in the position that I’m in.”
How can others get involved in doing something with you – or something like what you’re doing?
“A lot of young people often start companies because they have a vision of what something ought to look like, or how it should be, or they’re looking to make a newer and better version of an existing product. The funny thing is that this isn’t how successful start-ups typically begin, or how they take off.
Successful start-ups start with small ideas and become what they are through feedback, demands, and a lot of twists and turns. I would say try to allow for diversions and for things to go differently than planned because you never know where it might take you.”