There was a sense of gratitude when Ward 89 councillor Monde Nqulwana donated sanitary towels, soap, roll-on deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes to more than 160 young women on Thursday August 6.
The girls gathered outside his office in small groups, wearing their masks and adhering to social distancing requirements, while patiently waiting for their packs.
Mr Nqulwana said the programme sought to ensure that young girls did not go through their monthly cycle stressed because they didn’t have the necessary sanitary wear.
He started the programme in 2011 when he became the ward councillor as he felt that this was a pressing issue that needed to be addressed.
Through the ward allocation budget, he said, he donated the sanitary towels twice year, giving out enough to last the girls three months.
He believes that if government is able to produce and distribute condoms freely, it should do the same with sanitary towels.
He called on other ward councillors to initiate similar programmes.
“Some parents are not working and are unable to buy sanitary towels for their children.
“Some girls are raised by their grandmothers and solely depend on their grandmothers’ old age grant.
“We do not want to hear that some young girls in my ward are using newspapers because they cannot afford sanitary towels. As long I’m still a ward councillor, this programme will continue to exists and I hope that whoever comes after me will continue with it.
“We need to show that we understand the challenges and needs of a girl child. I hope this makes a huge difference in their lives,” he said.
Yonela Zuko said she was grateful for the donation and that it played a significant role in making their lives easier.
Another beneficiary, Nokuthula Yoko, said it was not the first time she had received sanitary towels from the ward councillor and that she was glad the ward councillor understood the needs of girls.