Miss South Africa Demi-Nel-Peters takes a selfie with students from Ivory Park Secondary school in Midrand. Independent Media is a media partner of the #MillionComforts campaign in patnership with Dischem and Caring4girls. File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha

Cape Town - Imagine all the women across South Africa stayed out of work every time they got their period. Disastrous right?

And no the word disastrous is not an emotional exaggeration because of PMS. The loss in productivity and time would have a huge impact on SA industry and women's careers.

So too is it disastrous when girls stay out of school when they get their period. Girls living in poverty can miss up to a fifth of their high school careers, brought on by shame because they do not have sanitary towels when they menstruate.

That is why we are appealing to you to support Independent Media and Dis-Chem's #MillionComforts campaign to help keep girls in school.

Last year Independent Media and Dis-Chem raised and donated more than one million sanitary towels to young women. 

Please help us surpass that target this year by buying pads and donating at Dis-Chem stores.

This is not just one of the most worthwhile acts of donation, it is also one of the most controlled. Every pack that is donated is audited and stored.

The donations are then collected by Caring4Girls once or twice a week as the need determines and then held in their regional warehouses across the country.

There are participating schools in every one of South Africa’s nine provinces, with an extra 20 schools added this year.

As Dis-Chem’s Penny Stein explains: “Each girl gets six packs against signature and her ID number, then a picture is taken of her and circulated to the school principal and teachers to let them know who is on the project to ensure there is no absenteeism blamed on menstruation.

“We don’t just give them to you, you get a lecture on feminine hygiene, there’s a register and then in four months’ time Caring4Girls goes back to the school for a follow up visit and to issue the next four months’ worth of sanitary towels. This way, we ensure that everyone is accountable, that the programme is sustainable and that the donations get to where they are supposed to be – the girls in need.”