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HUNDREDS of young girls from Orlando in Soweto, Johannesburg were given dignity and their prides restored while making sure they never miss a day of school.
This came in the form of re-usable sanitary pads that were handed out at an orphanage in the area as part of donations from a partnership between different companies.
EDS Projects, Power Foods together with Paracon, the ICT Resourcing Division of Adcorp Professional Services and Palesa Pads joined hands to assist iKageng, a community based organisation that cares for orphaned and vulnerable children in and around Soweto with food and dignity packs.
Julie Davies said it was an educational outing that included fun for the children from the orphanage and they also got to learn about their menstrual cycles and how to adequately deal with the changes that happen to their bodies.
With regards to the packs handed out, she said: “It consisted of high quality re-usable pads which can be washed and used again. The girls were taught how their menstrual cycles work and how best to utilise the pads. There were other various toiletries in each dignity pack.”
According to research, many girls in Africa miss 3-5 days of school each month because they cannot afford sanitary pads. Most girls eventually end up dropping out of school altogether.
Davies added that the pads also helped to reduce the costs associated with the monthly buying of pads.
“You can use them for a couple of hours, wash them and put them back in your bag to use at a later stage when you need them. Their life span is years, they can actually last the user for as many years as she needs to use them. They reduce the costs of pads drastically,” said Davies.
Palesa Reusable Pads can be used for up to 5 years, for less than 20% of the cost of disposable pads.
The company behind the pads said for many families, basic survival is a priority and there simply isn’t enough money in the budget to buy pads every month.
“Palesa Reusable Sanitary Pads provide a sustainable solution for up to 5 years which is a girl’s high school career. Palesa Pads can, of course, be worn by women as well.The tremendous savings on sanitary products contribute to the financial well-being of their families,” the company said.
Davies appealed to other companies to embark on such activities to give the less fortunate something to smile about and to look forward to.
“This kind of packs give the recipients pride and dignity. They are also able to actively participate in day to day activities like any other child,” she said.