The menstrual cup was introduced to given the big ups by the more than 200 girls of different schools from the Northern Cape during the health workshop held at the Jimmy Summers Hall on Thursday (24/08) and Friday (25/08).The cup, which was given to all girls attending the workshop of Business Zone Investments (BZI), is seen as a sustainable product to use during menstruation, especially for girls from needy families.Hosted under the theme “Giving girls their dignity back”, the purpose of the workshop was to give disadvantaged learners an opportunity to interact and promote social cohesion as well as give the learners exposure and the experience they will never forget.BZI was appointed by the Transnet Foundation to manage the project and thus reported to haveand partnered with various stakeholders and the departments of Education, Social Development, Home Affairs, Correctional Services, the Premier’s Office and the Education Trust Fund. Since its inception in 2012, BZI is reported to have reached up to 7 000 learners in an effort to address the increasing issue of absenteeism of girls due to a lack of sanitary products.Accompanied by Life Orientation teachers, the girls were taught how to use the menstrual cup.Various stakeholders also shared some health and safety tips with them.A call is now being made to the government to increase awareness through partnering in the programme and making the cups available to learners at school.The cup is now seen as a sustainable solution, as it is re-usable and has a lifespan of five years.According to Akhanyile Sone from De Aar, she has been part of the programme for five years and her menstruation has been comfortable.She says her concerns about rashes and allergic reactions are now a thing of the past.“You are free to do anything you want while wearing this cup. You can swim and do sports without any concerns,” she said.She admits that she was concerned about trying it out for the first time due to its shape.“However, once you started using it, you will see that it is in your best interest to own it.”The regional secretary of the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) in the Francis Baard district, Lesedi Sakhele, emphasises the importance of informing all female learners about the menstruation cup.She believes that this can only be achieved once more stakeholders get on board with the programme.“Each and every learner should feel free, comfortable and safe during her menstruation period. They should feel just as comfortable as they felt with sanitary pads, which are now no longer good for women to use,” Sakhele said. “We are now informed that there are harmful chemicals on the pads which can harm a girl’s private parts. That is of great concern to us now.” Cosas plans to back Sakhele’s sanitary project by persuading various departments to introduce the cup into her existing sanitary towels drive to make this a success.