Cape Town - Learners from Enkululekweni Primary School in Wallacedene have become the first in the community of Kraaifontein to receive free access to sanitary pads after they were gifted an innovative pad-vending machine.
Non-profit and non-government organisations have been lauded for their efforts in helping local communities fight period poverty after they extended their hand to a local primary school in Kraaifontein on Thursday, sponsoring a sanitary pad vending machine that will provide girls at the school with free pads.
At an event held at the school, NGO Save our Schools, in partnership with the Menstruation Foundation and O Grace Land, handed over the invention to the school, pledging to continue working to eradicate period poverty in local and impoverished communities.
Speaking at the event, MENstruation Foundation director and Springbok women’s rugby player Babalwa Latsha said: “I believe that the future is female, so we must take care of our young women. One packet of pads can help keep a girl in school and activities, we must build on that and support our youth.”
Enkululekweni principal Nondlela Alice Tomose said: “We are so excited about this. This is the beginning of a much better schooling year for our girl learners, some of whom were struggling without access to pads.
“It’s important to have such systems, especially in impoverished communities where some parents can’t afford to buy their children pads, forcing the learners to either use cloths or stay absent,” she said.
MENstruation Foundation director and Momentum Proteas women’s cricket player Sinalo Jafta said: “The important thing is keeping these girls not only in school but in sport.
“The growth of women’s sport in this country is massive, and when I outlive cricket, there should be another young girl moving into my space. It starts with us supporting them by giving them access to something as simple as a packet of pads.”
Also at the event was celebrity personality and comedian Siv Ngesi, who lashed out at local government officials at the event, saying while it was easy for them to show up at the event, it was disappointing that they continue to fail young girls by not giving them access to essential items.