Mending broken pieces with hope

2018-03-29 06:01
Author and poet Bulelwa Basse(not in uniform) sits with the girl learners of Langa High School PHOTO: supplied

Author and poet Bulelwa Basse(not in uniform) sits with the girl learners of Langa High School PHOTO: supplied

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In a society that is often riddled with countless social ills, it is a true blessing to be able to mark rare moments of kindness in our daily lives…

Last Friday, was such a day for me…

I was inspired to end my week on a positive note.

I paid Langa High School a visit- an hour before learners completed writing their exam- to gain an opportunity to address the girls on the plight of sanitary towel shortages among those from disadvantaged homes.

This being one of the most pertinent needs required to enable the girl child to regularly attend school without the unnecessary worry of running short of more than just a sanitary towel; their dignity.

The date had already been sorted between me, the principal and the secretary a week earlier.

This was to establish beforehand whether it was a good idea to also include the boy students as well, as they too need to understand the sensitivity of the matter.

It was decided – perhaps against our better judgement- that nay, lets keep the boys out, to create an enabling space for the girls to express themselves at will.

I realise, though, that we might have to establish a way which will be more “comfortable” for the young boys to be introduced to the matter at a socio-conscious level.

One day, these boys would become adults who might be forced to raise their girl children of their own.

Ignorance should not be an excuse for being oblivious to the plight of women.

After I had positioned the boxes of sanitary towels on the table in the school library, I patiently waited for my intended guests to arrive, as a designated teacher assured me that the items would be availed to those who needed them the most.

Knowing that lack of these towels has robbed many of our girls the opportunities associated with education, I was conscious enough not to turn this exercise into a sponsorship drive.

The spectre of absenteeism in school because of the lack of these pads looms large in predominantly black schools.

Gratitude for this donation goes to my Alma mater, the Good Hope Seminary Girls, who made it clear to me that their vision and mission was to bring hope to less fortunate girls faced with sanitary towel shortages.

Without their Sunshine Campaign, founded with the support of my former English teacher, M/s Alison Monnig, I would not have been able to fulfil this very important role.

During my engagement with the girls at Langa High School, I thought of the importance of paying it forward, as beautifully demonstrated by the Good Hope Seminary Girls.

I felt so privileged to have been part of this institution that continues to teach selflessness in a way that does not take away from anybody. I am reminded that through my own organisation, Sisters in Solidarity South Africa, the desire to give and contribute towards the betterment of other women and girls is a quality I can never take full credit for.

And as a child born of the lineage of the Soweto uprising and raised within and among the love of the communities of Langa and Gugulethu, I am proud to understand the notion that it indeed takes a village to raise a child. Please continue this journey of giving with me, in anyway that you feel you can, as I am open to more ideas regarding offers to our communities, our country and the world. To donate a Dignity Pack of sanitary towels, toiletries, tinned foods, books and clothes to South African youth, please contact Sisters in Solidarity South Africa, in partnership with Live To Give Foundation: +27 63 1652 088.

.Basse is founder and director of Sisters in Solidarity South Africa and Live to Give Foundation.


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