Access to sanitary pads is still a challenge for many young women in South Africa so a local non-profit is hosting a pad drive to restore dignity to these young ladies.
Johannesburg, South Africa (02 December 2020) – Isithunzi Sabo Bonke has launched a sanitary pad campaign to help restore dignity to young women in Alberton and Johannesburg South. Isithunzi Sabo Bonke, which translates to “dignity for all”, is a non-profit organisation run by residents of Alberton and Johannesburg South.
The non-profit was established in December 2019 to distribute feminine hygiene care packs to Quintile 1, 2 and 3 secondary schools in Gauteng in order to instil dignity, decency and pride into communities. They recently came up with a campaign called #ThinkofHer and the official launch of phase one took place on December 1st.
“Instead of asking for monetary donations we would like to partner with people and organisations and place our branded bins in stores with the slogan; ‘When I think of myself, I think of Her’. And drive people to purchase a product for both themselves and for a girl as they #thinkofher” – Samantha Eve, Executive Board Member.
The organisation has collaborated with their local Spar who have come on board. They have packs of 10 sanitary pads for R5,00. Mpact have donated 50 branded boxes to leave in stores which will be emptied weekly and distribute to the three schools.
“We are a group of men and women focused on uplifting the young women of South Africa. Menstruation-related problems are a gender-based barrier to girls’ education in South Africa,” said founder Freddie Louwrens.
In the current climate, there are many obstacles in the way that children may miss school – but menstruation should not be one of these reasons.
“In many African communities, there are stigmas and taboos around menstruation that lead to so many young girls not receiving information about puberty and often being completely unprepared when they have their first period.”
“In addition, girls who grow up in poverty often cannot afford period protection materials, which means that they subsequently don’t fully participate in school, sports or social life when they have their periods. All these obstacles, if left unattended can lead to increased school absenteeism, and for some girls, even dropping out of school altogether,” said Freddie.