Cape Town - Bringing dignity to girls in Cape Town’s disadvantaged communities is the goal of a newly-launched NGO which hopes to distribute sanitary towels to schools in Nyanga and Gugulethu.
Elevator Ground director Wonke Mapeyi said his NGO was registered this year but the drive had been going on for the past four years.
“I started with a friend, Thulani Sam, who is a DJ, and we thought instead of spending money partying with friends, maybe the key thing to do was to invest in the young ones, starting with the girl child.
“Our goal is to see the government making sure they give to the girl and boy child directly, because this affects them, especially the girl child because sometimes they do not go to school,” he said.
“We also want to teach young people how to become better fathers and better mothers, because a problem we've seen is that the focus is only on women, to say they must become better mothers, girlfriends and wives, and not so much emphasis on the boy child.”
The NGO’s secretary, Thamie Kwintshi, said: “When the initiative was born, donations were collected from people we know and we asked the community to assist. We’re also trying to find other initiatives, not just looking at Gugulethu and Nyanga and surrounding areas, but we want to go out to other areas as well within the Western Cape”.
She said the scope was widening because they were getting calls from people outside Cape Town.
“It’s a great initiative making a great impact. It’s a lot of work but teamwork makes all the difference.”
Hlengisa Primary School teacher Mzwandile Gaji from Langa said the school felt great gratitude to the donor.
Gaji: “We as teachers felt relieved and appreciative because most girls who are on periods feel embarrassed when they do not have sanitary towels and when the periods come unannounced. They feel belittled and become victims of laughter from other peers.
“We sometimes have those that do not come to school because their parents do not afford sanitary towels. As much as the school provides for those in lack, the supply is not sufficient. We really thank the NGO for their support. It means a lot to our little girls,” said Gaji.