Local organises drive to help schoolgirls

2017-04-11 06:00
Founder of the Margo Hilda foundation Margo Fortune from Pinelands collects sanitary pads and soap to help underprivileged schoolgirls stay in school.

Founder of the Margo Hilda foundation Margo Fortune from Pinelands collects sanitary pads and soap to help underprivileged schoolgirls stay in school. (Nomzamo Yuku)

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Girls from disadvantaged communities in the southern suburbs can expect better school days as the Margo Hilda foundation aims to tackle one of their problems.

Founder Margo Fortune (24), from Pinelands, has started collecting sanitary pads and soap with help from her family and friends to help give underprivileged schoolgirls the confidence to stay in class every day.

Fortune says every year the foundation will focus on raising funds for a project that addresses issues that communities face and need help with.

This year she is starting by raising funds at a sanitary pads and fitness drive to take place at the Pinelands police sport field on Saturday 29 April from 09:00 to 17:00. She hopes the drive will help her afford 2000 sanitary pads to distribute next month to schools identified by members of the public and school principals on the day of the drive.

Fortune says she wants this drive to bring people from surrounding suburbs together to empower schoolgirls by keeping them in school and promoting education.

“If we can keep these girls in school we will definitely be able to fight poverty and other negative stigmatisation in society such as a girl’s feeling of dirtiness and being sick during their periods and believing that they need to have a baby to be fully considered a woman. We need to show these girls it is okay to experience pain during their monthly period and teach them how to ease it by doing exercises. That is why my drive is basically sanitary pads and fitness.

“If we can successfully keep them at school throughout the month we will also be instilling the importance of education to them so they can change their situations back at home later in life,” says Fortune.

She says it has always been her passion to help the needy, but after witnessing the challenges some schoolgirls face, the idea of raising funds to buy sanitary pads and soap was born in January.

Residents are invited to attend the event and donate at least a packet of sanitary pads and soap. Entrance is R50 for adults and R20 for children. Businesses are encouraged to bring their wares as an open market will be allowed at the venue.

During the distribution of sanitary pads to schools Prof Michelle Andipatin of UWC will present workshops and to educate the schoolgirls about menstruation and teenage pregnancy.

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