Cape Town teen uses birthday to uplift girls

2017-04-05 22:40
Avantika Naidoo donated her birthday cash to girls' healthcare and education. (Jenna Verster, News24)

Avantika Naidoo donated her birthday cash to girls' healthcare and education. (Jenna Verster, News24)

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Cape Town - Avantika Naidoo is not your average 16-year-old. While others may have looked forward to shiny gifts on their birthday, she thought it better to give to others.

The Grade 10 pupil at Rustenburg Girls' High School recently asked her friends and family to skip the presents and rather donate to a cause close to her heart: Keeping girls in school.

"Leading up to my 16th birthday, my mom Pregashnie and I decided to make a difference in the lives of teenage girls," she said.

"We wanted something that would empower them to continue their education and excel during the natural process of menstruation, because statistics indicate that girls miss out school when they don't have access to sanitary pads."

She asked people to help buy Subz pants and pads, a reusable sanitary product that was distributed to disadvantaged communities through Project Dignity.

Designed by Sue Barnes, the sanitary pads are washable, re-usable and can be clipped to specially-made cotton panties.

Goodie bags

At each donation, the girls received a talk on the female body and were able to ask questions.

Avantika said when she asked people to spread the message, she realised many people were unaware of the challenges young women faced.

"Many people take things for granted, not realising others are in need of basic necessities. If we all work together, we can make a difference and have a better and brighter future."

The teen raised about R5 000, allowing her to buy 32 Subz packs.

St George's Home for Girls in Wynberg received 17, and Kerria Primary School in Atlantis, 15 packs.

She distributed goodie bags with motivational scriptures and metaphorical objects. The bags included Chappies bubblegum, with a sticker stating: "Chew on God's word."

"The reaction from the girls was amazing. They were truly grateful."

She planned to continue raising funds where possible.

Pregashnie, who had signed up to volunteer for Project Dignity in the Western Cape, praised her daughter's generous act.

"I'm blessed to have a daughter who is truly compassionate about the needs of fellow girls. She understands that a combined effort is far-reaching."

Read more on:    cape town  |  good news

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