This initiative is a flagship of the Thembekile Mandela Foundation (TMF). This was started and informed by a research done by the Open Society Initiative in Southern Africa, OSISA, indicating a challenge that rural girl learners face during their menstrual period.
Each rural girl learner loses up to 50days of schooling a year when they menstruate due to a lack of resources. If they have to attend due to exams they use unhygienic materials like toilet paper, old socks or pantyhose or crumple newspapers.
If one compound these 50 days over a five year period, each girl learner will have lost a whole year of schooling by the time they sit for their final senior exams and yet no consideration is made for these girl to recover lost time so they can perform well. Some even end dropping out. There is a stigma attached to bleeding through your uniform when a girl does not have proper sanitary wear. They are subjected to teasing by boys who do not understand what they are going through.
Since education is an integral part of the Thembekile Mandela Foundation, the foundation is making an appeal to everyone who wants to assist to keep these girls in school.
For and amount of 250ZAR or 25USD, each girl learner can be supplied with 1 year supply of sanitary pads so they do not have to battle for the year.This is more sustainable as the whole year will have sufficient supply.