Church addresses challenges faced by pupils

2018-02-23 06:00
PHOTO: Siphelele NketoPupils at the event in Matatiele.

PHOTO: Siphelele NketoPupils at the event in Matatiele.

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MEMBERS of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa from the Mt Hargreaves Circuit donated sanitary towels to 500 young girls at an event held in Matatiele last Friday.

The church worked with the Imbumba Foundation, the Department of Education and municipalities to make the donation.

Dr Vivian Kok said it was initiated to fight absenteeism among the female pupils who at times have to miss school when having their period because of a lack of proper sanitaryware.

Another member of the church, Thembelani Gwantshu, said the aim of the church is not only to preach God’s word but also to do community development.

“Over the past two years, the church has decided to contribute to the development of education by reducing the absenteeism of young girls. Each circuit has a duty to give back to the community,” said Gwantshu.

Alfred Nzo District Municipality deputy mayor Sandile Sello, who was at the event, said it is painful to see young girls using unhealthy stuff during the menstrual cycle because of a lack of money. He asked community structures and organisations to support the campaign by making donations.

Forced marriages and the sexual harassment of young girls were also highlighted as a concern. Department of Education Alfred Nzo West district director Lungelo Mthatyana said some young girls become victims of abuse at the hands of male pupils and some are even impregnated by male teachers.

“Some girls walk long distances to and from schools and get raped, which is painful,” said Mthatyana. The church promised to help struggling schools with extra classes to increase the matric pass rate.

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