Pads will help girls stay in class

2016-09-29 06:00
Councillor Monde Nqulwana, of Ward 89, and learners during the handover of sanitory towels at Mathew Goniwe Memorial High School, Khayelitsha, on Thursday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Councillor Monde Nqulwana, of Ward 89, and learners during the handover of sanitory towels at Mathew Goniwe Memorial High School, Khayelitsha, on Thursday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Sanitary towels are a much needed health resource for many young girls coming of age.

However, not many of them can afford these, and to some, it might seem like an item of luxury, because their parents do not possess the economic muscle to obtain them.

Because of this, they would rather stay at home than go to school, for fear of embarassment and taunts from peers, which can be very harsh.

Last Thursday, however, for learners at Matthew Goniwe Memorial School and neighbouring Soyisile Primary School, trepidation surely must have turned to equanimity and excitement after they took delivery of the pads from a local councillor. Hundreds of them.

Ward 89 Councillor Monde Nqulwana handed over the sanitary towels to 687 learners from the schools.

Dubbed iSidima Somfazi, Nqulwana said he had set aside about R20 000 from his ward allocation budget. The second delivery will be facilitated in January 2017.

“There is still a lot that we still need to do in this school. We understand that there is also a shortage of toilet papers in schools, which is a challenge.”

Nqulwana warned learners not to dispose of the used pads in toilets, as these caused blockages to the drainage system, but rather in refuse bins.

Grade 9 learner Phumelela Mahlangu, one of the recipients said: “I struggle a lot to get sanitary towels when I need them. Sometimes we ask our teachers when we need them.

My mother is unemployed so she cannot afford to buy me the sanitary towels. I am very happy,” Mahlangu said.

Anathi Mzamane, also a Grade 9 learner at the school, said most learners really need such donation. “I always have sanitary towels, because my mother buys them for me. I have friends who struggle to get them and they always ask me when they ran out of them. It is important for us to always have them so that we will not have excuses for not coming to school,” Mzamane said.

Teacher Fuzile Mvuselelo, a teacher, applauded the donation. “It is important for the learners, because they are coming from an area which has a socio economic problem.

Most of the parents are unemployed. Some learners end-up not coming to school when they are on their period, because they do not have the sanitary towels,” Mvuselelo said. Sister Nompucuko Masiza, from Site B Youth Clinic, gave small talk, explaining the cycle to the young girls.

“Once you start menstruation it means you are growing and you can get pregnant if you get intimate with a boy. You must go to clinic if your menstruation last for more than seven days,” Each learners received one pack of the sanitary towels.

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