A certain school in North West Province, a stone-away from my village also experienced the same problem, were girls had to use newspapers and cloths to help themselves when that time arrives, thus resulting in not attending classes.
So, severe that the private sector in the form of Procter and Gamble, has partnered with Lead SA and Proudly South African to launch the Always Keeping Girls in School (AKGIS) initiative.
At the launch this week, AKGIS provided 120 sanitary packs to girls from various schools that attended the event which, included items such as Always sanitary towels and a puberty education booklet to educate girls about the changes their body go through during puberty.
The purpose of the initiative is to make available pads to young girls who are unable to afford or have access to them throughout the country.
Since the AKGIS campaign started in 2006, it has worked with eight partners in 17 countries, reaching more than 80,000 girls in the developing world.
Yes, this shows this is not a South African problem but a regional phenomenon.
“We are honoured to be part of this project with our influential partners and we encourage businesses to contribute to this initiative,” says Khulu Mabaso, Associate Director of Communications for Sub-Saharan Africa at P&G.
“Our AKGIS initiative aims to prevent girls from missing school during their menstruation cycle by donating sanitary pads, providing puberty education and motivating girls to stay in school.
By contributing to the Sanitary Project we hope to extend the awareness and impact of AKGIS,” says Mabaso.
In 2012, P&G made a commitment to help keep 10 000 girls in schools in different regions across the country for the next three years.
Lesley Sedibe, CEO at Proudly South African:”We have a responsibility as South African citizen to take care of our young girls and with this initiative we want to give pupils the dignity they deserve and make sure that they are clean and healthy during their monthly periods,” he said, during the project launch at Maslow Hotel.
It was graced by former Miss SA, Bokang Montjane, Deputy Minister of Communications, Thembisa Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams; Dr Paul Cromhout, Managing Director of Small Projects Foundation and Monique Strydom, Matla-a-Bana & dignity packs for child victims.
Yes, it might not be enough but at least the private sector is showing some concerns, particularly were education is concerned, because government alone cannot win this epic battle.