Free sanitary pads for Copesville pupils

2017-03-15 06:03
PHOTO: jackie cookAt the handover of the donation of sanitary pads were (from left) Lara Edmonds (Young Lady With Heart project administrator), Nokuthula Ngcobo, Mala Maharaj (Community Chest), Farzana Pillay, Rhonda Bowles and Shubnum Ismail (Netcare St Anne’s Hospital marketing officer).

PHOTO: jackie cookAt the handover of the donation of sanitary pads were (from left) Lara Edmonds (Young Lady With Heart project administrator), Nokuthula Ngcobo, Mala Maharaj (Community Chest), Farzana Pillay, Rhonda Bowles and Shubnum Ismail (Netcare St Anne’s Hospital marketing officer).

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COPESVILLE Primary School girls were excited as they received 500 packs of sanitary pads from Netcare St Anne’s Hospital in partnership with Community Chest in an extension of the Young Lady With Heart sanitary pad initiative that ran last year.

“These are future leaders and they deserve to be taken care of. We chose the school because it is situated in a poor community. Teachers have told us that most of the pupils can’t afford the pads. No girl should miss school because she can’t afford sanitary towels,” said Shubnum Ismail, Netcare St Anne’s marketing manager.

Grade nine pupil Nolwazi Sibiya (14) said she is happy now that she will be able to use her savings on other important things. “The free pads will be of great help, especially to my schoolmates who really cannot afford them. It gives us great pleasure to know that there are people who care for us. It is very heart warming,” said Nolwazi.

Speaking to the girls, Farzana Pillay of Netcare St Anne’s said it is very important for girls to respect their bodies.

“Don’t allow anyone to belittle you. As young women, be careful of attracting the wrong people who can ruin your future.

“It’s also important to speak about issues, especially if there is abuse involved either at home or anywhere. Sexual abuse might lead to pregnancy, which can leave one with an emotional scar forever,” Pillay said.

KwaZulu-Natal is one of the provinces in South Africa that has been plagued by the issue of pupils not being able to afford sanitary pads and the KZN Department of Education no longer supplies free sanitary pads to poor schools across the province.

The head of department for humanities at Copesville Secondary School, Nhlakanipho Mkhize, expressed the school’s gratitude.

“It is initiatives like these that keep our pupils at school. We have had the problem of pupils missing school because they cannot afford sanitary pads. The donation will make a huge difference to our pupils,” he said.

Mkhize urged the society to refrain from looking at the menstrual period as a “problem”.

“This is nature and we as men have to support women, especially the young ones. Men need to speak about menstruation with their children and if they can afford to buy pads they should do so for their children.”

The pupils were also taught about sexually transmitted diseases, self-respect and discipline, as well as hygiene.

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