Imagine a young girl wakes up for school and goes to the bathroom to get ready for the day. She notices that she has just started her period. She goes to the cabinet where the rags are kept, unfortunately she can’t find one so she grabs the newspaper on the kitchen counter. She carefully folds it into a layered wad. Hopefully this will work, she can’t bare the thought of messing and bleeding through her school skirt. She goes to her room to get dressed for school and she’s already messed on herself. Normally she would just stay home like she does most months, but the class is writing a test today and she’s already not doing so well in that subject. She perseveres and continues to get done and walks to school. Once she’s at school she goes in for assembly, hopefully this will be quick so that she can check herself before she has to go to class and write her test. After assembly she walks hurriedly to the bathroom thankfully she hasn’t messed, she can wipe the newspaper cleanish with some toilet paper. She can’t throw the wad away because she doesn’t have enough newspaper on her for the day. She gets to class a bit late and the teacher reprimands her and tells her to take her seat. The tests are handed out. She starts writing her test but she can barely concentrate on the work all she’s thinking about is not messing. The boy she likes sits directly behind her. What if she messes and he sees. She feels a big gush. She immediately shoots her hand up to ask to go to the bathroom. The teacher says she can’t leave in the middle of the test. Oh no, she feels another gush.........
Now imagine this young girl is your daughter.
The Stellenbosch University (SU) Law Clinic has found that about 30% of girls in South Africa do not attend school when they are menstruating because they cannot afford sanitary products. They can miss up to 70 days of school a year due to menstruation. They often use newspaper, cloths or other unsanitary items in place of pads.
My incredible friend, Candace Foster-Dollie, is heading up an amazing initiative to collect as many sanitary pads as possible to donate to schools in underprivileged areas. This week she donated to Coronationville Secondary School. As little as R6,59 can buy a pack of sanitary pads. Let us harness the power of the collective and be the difference in the lives of so many young girls.
I will personally collect from anyone’s home. You can also drop off any donations at Fosters Toyota in Robertville/Florida or Eldorado Park. Alternatively, monetary donations are welcome as well. Please contact me for further information.
Let’s keep our girls in school.