Zeerust Solar’s community development representatives recently visited Stinkhoutboom Primary, in Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality, to deliver much needed dignity kits for young learners. This is the first in the programme’s roll-out, which will benefit over 500 community learners over the coming months.
As part of the solar project’s Hearts and Minds Programme, the kits include hygiene and personal care items, such as sanitary ware and other essential items, aimed at supporting positive self-image, hygiene and CV-19 health practices.
In particular these packs, which include sanitary towels, hope to help restore the dignity of young girls and also support their school attendance.
Large percentages of young school girls in rural communities, such as those within the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality, miss up to five days of school each month, due to lack of access to essential sanitary items. This has been addressed by the government to some extent by removing VAT on these personal hygiene items, however, free sanitary products are not yet available to young school girls in underprivileged areas.
“By supporting learners and especially young girls, we can help restore their confidence and motivate school attendance,” said Nomzamo Landingwe, Chief Community Operations Officer for Zeerust Solar.
The focus of Zeerust Solar’s Economic Development programme is to empower and strengthen local communities in and around the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality, namely Ikageleng, Henryville, Olienhout Park, Shalimar Park, Welbedacht (Lehurutshe Town) and Groot Marico, as well as extending to 40 villages located within the municipal area.
The South African Human Rights Commission reported that the lack of access to sanitary towels not only has adverse effects on our country’s girl’s school attendance but it also has a ripple effect on the economic development of communities. It is not just the girls and women who benefit from having proper menstrual hygiene, the broader society and national economies can profit from better menstruation management.
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