Copesville pupils receive sanitary pads

2017-03-22 06:04
Copesville High School Grade 11 pupil Dimakatso Mona.PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile

Copesville High School Grade 11 pupil Dimakatso Mona.PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile

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GIRLS at Copesville High will not have to miss school during their “monthlies” due to not having sanitary pads after a donation by Community Chest, in partnership with Netcare St Anne’s Hospital through the Young Lady With Heart project last Friday.

This year the project was dedicated to collecting sanitary towels for local high schools because adolescent girls are forced to miss school because they don’t have sanitary pads.

The three partners donated 500 sanitary pads and sisters from Netcare St Anne’s gave educational talks on personal hygiene, sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancies.

Netcare St Anne’s Hospital marketing officer Shubnum Ismail said the pads were collected from hospital staff.

“We collected over 1 000 pads from our nurses, doctors and other staff members who were very enthusiastic in assisting to keep our girls at school.

“Copesville is a very impoverished school where we received reports of adolescent girls who are sometimes forced to stay at home when they are menstruating because they do not have access to sanitary pads.”

Copesville High School is also battling to curb reckless sexual behaviour, which saw at least 30 pupils falling pregnant in 2016.

Addressing pupils, Sister Farzana Pillay warned of the dangers of engaging in unprotected sex.

“Engaging in unprotected sex not only results in pregnancy, but you also put yourself at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. The boy may not necessarily tell you he has an STD so you need to put yourself first and think about how decisions you take today will impact on your future,” said Pillay.

A Grade 11 teacher at the school, Nonhlanhla Malevu, said she hoped the information shared by the three partners will “hit home” for pupils.

“We have seen an alarming increase in pregnancies at the school, which is becoming the norm. As teachers, we are worried and hope our pupils will use the information that was shared with them to make wiser choices.”

Grade 11 pupil Dimakatso Mona said she was very grateful for the sanitary pads.

“I live in a shelter and this donation will make a huge difference. I am one of the pupils who does not have access to sanitary towels and I am sometimes forced to miss school because of it. I have friends from poor families who face the same dilemma every month too, and we are really grateful.”

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