In South Africa young girls often miss school and are forced to stay at home due to not being able to afford the monthly cost of purchasing sanitary pads. According to UNICEF 1 in 10 girls in school in Africa miss school or drop out due to their period. Often girls who cannot afford to purchase sanitary pads have to resort to using unsafe absorbent materials such as rags, newspaper or toilet paper.
Lesedi has funded an ongoing project to reduce school absenteeism of young girls enrolled from grade 7-12, and to improve the safe and hygienic disposal of sanitary waste. As part of the project, Lesedi has selected the following 4 beneficiary schools in the Northern Cape:
- Danielskuil Intermediate School
- Kuilsville High School
- Ratang Thuto Secondary School
- Blinkklip High School
- HTT Bidi Memorial Primary School
- Postdene Primary School
In addition to providing a monthly supply of sanitary pads, Lesedi also provided female learners with a carry bag, a diary containing an instruction sheet and a cycle tracker. Nurses were also present at at the initial distributions to create awareness on female hygiene. Lesedi also equipped all female toilets at the beneficiary schools with sanitary bins to ensure learners have access to hygienic disposal facilities thereby reducing the improper disposal of sanitary waste.