Beginet visited Sutherland Hoër to donate washable sanitary pads to girls. It was heartwarming to see the smiles on the girls’ faces and their gratitude was humbling
In 2021, we undertook a project to distribute reusable sanitary pads to underprivileged girls and women in various parts of the Northern Cape. The project was inspired by a long-lasting drought that had a devastating impact on the lives of the people in the Northern Cape. Many things in life are difficult but a girl’s period shouldn’t be one of them.
We visited Sutherland Hoërskool to donate reusable sanitary pads to girls. It was heart-warming to see the smiles on the girls’ faces and their gratitude was humbling. Some of the girls told us that these reusable sanitary pads will go a long way in managing their period and they no longer have to miss days of school when they are on their periods because they can’t afford sanitary pads. These girls don’t want to miss any school day. They want to learn everything they can so that they can lead successful lives and support their families.
It’s heart-wrenching to see how a lack of sanitary pads can have such negative impact on these girls’ lives. I’m compelled to count my blessings and not take anything for granted. I realized that menstrual care is not a luxury but a necessity and should be regarded as a right for all women because enshrined in our Constitution is the right for everyone’s dignity to be protected and upheld.
This project can go a long way in reducing absenteeism of underprivileged girls. Research conducted by Stellenbosch University has found that an estimated 30% of girls in South Africa do not attend school while they are menstruating because they cannot afford sanitary pads. This sets girls back and makes them less competitive with their male peers. Bongani Majola, chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission, highlighted that a lack of access to sanitary pads can have a ripple effect on the entire population. He further stated that, “It’s not just the girls and women who benefit from having proper menstrual hygiene, the broader society and national economies can profit from better menstruation management.”
Beginet collaborated with Euodia Naanyane-Bouwer, the founder, and CEO of Gracious Nubian—an organization that designs, develops, and manufactures innovative and washable sanitary pads that can be reused for up to 2 years. Gracious Nubian manufactured 75 reusable sanitary pads for Beginet to donate to girls in Sutherland High School and farmworkers’ wives and daughters in the Northern Cape.
Help ensure that no girl or woman is held back by her period. Help keep a girl in school, and end Period Poverty. Together, we can do it!
Miss. Charmaine Mahlagaume