Pads gift brings joy to learners

2017-03-02 06:00
Staff of Thembelihle Senior Secondary School in Khayelitsha look on in admiration as learners receive the donation of washable sanitory towels on Friday.PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Staff of Thembelihle Senior Secondary School in Khayelitsha look on in admiration as learners receive the donation of washable sanitory towels on Friday.PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Thembelihle Senior Secondary School learners who cannot afford to buy sanitary towels will no longer have to miss school when they are on their menstrual cycle.

This comes after they received a donation of 645 units of washable pads which are reusable for a period of up to five years after the first use.

The donation was made available by South African Breweries (SAB) in joint collaboration with Kimberley Clark, Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF), the International School of Cape Town and NGO’s Subz Washable Pads and Panties and Ikamva Labantu.

Jaco Parreira, SAB Ottery Depot District Manager said the aim was to ensure that learners do not miss school at any time.

“It’s vital for young women to be empowered not to miss any school simply because they cannot afford any sanitary products. Every child has the right to an education, and it is through partnerships like this that we invest in the future of South Africa by keeping our girls in school.

It is a constitutional right for these young women to have dignity and access to education and we are honoured to play our small part in keeping the future of South Africa in school.”

Maddy Mcclellan,17, a learner from the International School of Cape Town, said she was after hearing how her peers struggled to get to school during their periods and decided to head the campaign at her school.

“I decided to do the fund-raising campaign at my school after I visited Lavender Hill High School, last year.

We managed to raise about R2000, which made it possible to buy the sanitary towels.

I later approached SAB and we formed a partnership.

I feel really good for contributing to something that will make the learners feel good. My wish is to see the programme being rolled out to more schools on a continuous basis,” Mcclellan said.

SAB has even facilitated a stage play for school children highlighting the dangers of underage drinking which is prevalent in many communities across South Africa, as a part of their YOU DECIDE campaign.

On the day of the donations, Ikamva Labantu and Subz Washable Pads and Panties provided education regarding the health implications of limited access to sanitary towels as well as a basic explanation of the development of a women’s body.

Thembelihle Mgebe, a learner, thanked the donors and said needy learners end up using fabrics that cause great harm to their sanitary health during periods.

School principal Bongani Mfiki said most parents were unemployed, which made it difficult to afford buying their daughters the towels.

He said the donation will go a long way in making them “better people in future.”

Ndithini Thyido, from the KDF said learners should “not feel ashamed” whenever they were on menstruation.

He thanked the donors and said this will make a positive contribution in the lives of learners.

Councillor Patrick Mngxunyeni, of Ward 94, said the signs of poverty in the area were there for everyone to see and that such initiatives are always welcome.

He also thanked the school for good work that they produce and that they will continue supporting it.

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