This comes after the non-profit company (NPO) decided to give back to the communities where its members grew up in and attended school. They visited three schools in the area to hand out these dignity packs that contained sanitary towels, toothpaste, a toothbrush and bath soap.
Tsa Semzini spokesperson Morgan Madiba said that since August is Women’s Month, the organisation saw it fit to go back home and donate feminine hygiene products to help address health-related issues that young women face in rural areas.
“We will continue to donate different things, depending on the need. We will engage with our sponsors and we will also take out money out of our own pockets to fight poverty in our communities,” said Madiba.
“In the near future, we hope to run a much bigger project that will impact more lives. Not only do we want to support vulnerable kids, but also show them that it is possible to come home one day and do something good for your community. You don’t need a lot of money to give back to your community.
Reducing school absenteeism
The dignity pack initiative was aimed at reducing school absenteeism, as many young girls cannot afford sanitary towels and hence do not attend school during their monthly cycles. The 1 000 dignity packs were handed to learners at Mabothe High School and at Mapala and Andries Mashile Primary Schools, in Phake.
Lethabo Msiza, one of the learners who benefited from the drive, said she’s very happy to have received feminine hygiene products, as these are items that girls need more than others. “I wish they can keep doing this on a monthly basis and come teach the boys in our schools that we don’t choose this, it’s a natural thing,” she said.
Lucky Mabuti, principal at one of the schools, said the donation would go a long way at address the school attendance of girls during their menstrual cycles.
“When we asked a girl child why they are not at school for four or five days, they would say they are sick. But when our school social workers engaged with them, they found out that they cannot afford sanitary towels, as the majority of kids here stay with their grandmothers, because their parents are working in Gauteng.
‘Rural kids can succeed’
“I’m so happy and humbled that this initiative is being done by former students at the school. By doing this, they not only demonstrate integrity, but also show our learners that success can be achieved by ‘rural’ children,” said Mabuti.
Tsa Semzini was established to help with the upliftment of the Phake Ratlhagana community and neighbouring villages, within DR JS Moroka Municipality. For the past five years, the NPO has hosted annual cultural events (Diturupa), aimed at bringing the community together, taking the youth off the streets and assisting a number of small businesses within the community to generate income during the events.
In response to the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, Tsa Semzini donated personal protective equipment to Mabothe High School, in partnership with other donors. – Health-e News