A hundred teenage girls received hygiene gift bags last week when they participated in Menstrual Hygiene Day at Masibambane High School in Kraaifontein.
The gift bags were handed out by the Save Our Schools (SOS) campaign, who have teamed up with comedian and TV personality Siv Ngesi and his #MENstruation campaign and Marius Basson of the EMCAP NGO.
Menstrual Hygiene Day is an annual awareness day on May 28 to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management.
It was initiated by the German-based NGO WASH United in 2014 and aims to benefit women and girls worldwide.
Regarding the date, the 28th was selected to acknowledge that 28 days is the average length of the menstrual cycle, and the 5th month acknowledges the 5 days (on average) of a woman’s period.
GIFT: Siv Ngesi and Unathi Mnotuwza
Shelley Humphreys of SOS says: “Many times girls stay out of school because they cannot afford to buy sanitary pads. Today is the start of our campaign, where we will give girls and women essential hygiene products every week.
“Besides the essentials in their gift bags, they also get a gift voucher from our partner Shoprite.”
Dr Abdurahman Daniels, from Mountcare Dental in Athlone and Strand, was part of the SOS team and said he felt honoured to be part of proceedings.
The doctor donated toothbrushes, toothpaste, and disposable masks to the girls.
Siv said it’s time for men to understand what females go through every month.
“Our slogan says, if men bled once a month, sanitary products would be free.”
Grade 12 pupil Unathi Mnotuwza, 17, said the gift bags contained all a girl needs: “A big thank you to everyone who supports us in our monthly needs.”