Support for girls

2018-10-31 06:03
Pupils at Woodlands Primary School.PHOTO: supplied

Pupils at Woodlands Primary School.PHOTO: supplied

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THE educational opportunities of 1 000 young South African women have been drastically improved by the generous donation of packs of Subz Pants and Pads by corporate sponsor the Ipsos Foundation, throughout September and October.

“Every month our database of recipients grows as more schools and NPOs discover the benefits of Subz washable sanitary packs,” said Sue Barnes, founder of Subz Pants and Pads, and its NPO extension, Project Dignity.

“We work constantly to meet the need, but the reality is that without corporate sponsorship, we just can’t reach schools as quickly as we would like.”

This month, girls from Woodlands Primary School received 125 sanitary packs. Young women in disadvantaged communities will often miss up to a week of school every month because of a lack of sanitary pads, sacrificing vital educational input for the sake of deserved dignity. While the South African government is working to address the issue, there has been no investment in sustainable sanitary pads.

“We are incredibly grateful for the generous donation by Ipsos,” said Barnes. “Thanks to this amazing contribution, we have been able to undertake a number of activations at schools countrywide, educating 1 000 young women about puberty and distributing the Subz packs.”

Ipsos is a global market research and consulting firm with a presence in 89 countries. Tessa Schoeman, of Ipsos Laboratories, said they chose Project Dignity as a recipient as education and female empowerment is “close to her heart”.

“The importance of educating girls should not be underestimated,” said Schoeman. “Research has shown that girls who stay in school longer are less likely to contract HIV, more likely to marry later and have fewer children. Girls attending school also seek education for their own children, thereby improving an entire nation’s education.”

She said that Ipsos International established the Ipsos Foundation to carry out educational programmes for underprivileged children worldwide. As an Ipsos employee, she is able to apply for funds to donate to a local charity that provides access to education.

“Project Dignity fits in with the approach of enabling young girls to attend school, further their education and ultimately improve their lives,” she said.

The Umkomaas-based NPO, Door to Door Foundation, partnered with Project Dignity on the Sidelile High School activation. The organisation’s head, Sihle Phungula, extended his gratitude to the Ipsos Foundation and Project Dignity for the chance to address the 150 Grade 9 schoolgirls.

“This partnership shows that these are sincere organisations, committed to assisting rural communities,” he said.

In addition to the 1 000 packs donated through Ipsos funding, Project Dignity was able to distribute a further 885 packs of Subz Pants and Pads because of the support of individual donors. The recipients included four KwaZulu-Natal schools as well as NPO’s Sizokhula in KwaMashu, Hands of Luv in Cape Town and Sonke Gender Justice, as well as two Eastern Cape-based NPOs.

To find out more, visit: www.project
dignity.co.za or Twitter: @dignityfor
women or Facebook: Project Dignity. — Supplied.

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