More than 150 girls at Kwamfundo Senior Secondary School in Harare Khayelitsha will have a greater chance of staying in school to reach their full potential, thanks to a donation of sanitary hygiene products from Ward 98 councillor Anele Gabuza.
A total of 185 sanitary towels were handed to the school in an effort to ensure that the girl child stays at school.
Mr Gabuza said through the donation he hoped that they will help to eradicate absenteeism among young girls, who often skip school when they do not have access to basic sanitary protection during their menstrual cycles.
But most importantly, he said they were encouraging the girl pupils to speak openly when they do not have sanitary towels and not be ashamed.
He believes that there was a need to have spaces to talk openly to high school pupils about menstruation.
He said donating sanitary towels to ensure that girls attend school and go about their daily activities was fundamental as this was a human rights issue.
“We want to create spaces where our young girls are able to voice their challenges, frustrations and opinions.
“We must create an environment for a girl child that makes her feel safe and looked after. We must be able to change our negative mindset and be accommodated as parents and leaders.
“As a father or brother you have a responsibility to ensure that your girl’s needs are met and she can talk openly.
“We must be progressive leaders and parents. We must ensure that we are having open and heart to heart conversations with our girl child as men so that they could become wise girls in the future.
“We must stop with the notion that such matters are for women only, we must be involved as well because at the end of the day these are our children and they look up to us as their parents,” he said.
Mr Gabuza said he hopes that they are going to do more of these initiatives in the future and make it a regular donation.
Deputy school governing body chairperson at Kwamfundo Senior Secondary School, Ncendeka Peter, said the donation was essential in the wellbeing of their pupils as some will inform the teachers that they are not coming to school as they have their periods and do not have sanitary towels.
Ms Peter said this might look like a small donation but to the girls it means a lot.
Ms Peter said some of our children are too shy to speak up about and end up not going to school.
She said as the school management they took a decision to keep sanitary towels in the school for those who need them.
They also wanted to teach the girls the importance of being hygienic and taking care of themselves.