25 April 2019, Johannesburg – South Africa’s leading cement and concrete company, AfriSam has joined the cause to ensure that young girls in the East Rand of Johannesburg stay in school during their monthly menstrual cycles by providing them with free sanitary towels, a supply that will last more than three months. AfriSam is collaborating with the Imbumba Foundation to provide the sanitary towels to about 2 440 girls from three (3) high schools namely; Villa Liza Secondary School in Villa Liza, NN Ndebele Secondary School and Esibonelwesihle Secondary School in Duduza, Nigel.
“We are extremely proud of this initiative as it gives these young girls their dignity by ensuring that they do not miss any schooling days in the next few months because of lack of this necessary hygienic products,” says Jabu Motlhako, AfriSam ESD Professional.
“AfriSam is passionate about the success of the girl child, and we believe that where we can assist in achieving success, we will always lend a hand,” Motlhako added.
The benefitting schools are near AfriSam’s Rooikraal operation, and the company continuously engages with local communities to understand local needs and where practical, always offers solutions or work with other stakeholders to meet local social and economic needs.
Through engaging with the schools, the company identified a dire need which is a lack of sanitary towels. Research has shown that underprivileged girls can miss up to 50 days of school per year due to lack of access to adequate feminine hygiene, Imbumba Foundation.
Girls’ choice of menstrual hygiene materials is often limited by cost, availability and social norms. In most underprivileged communities, menstruation is still a barrier to education for many girls and restricts their opportunities for involvement in educational and sports activities.
“This initiative is a first of its kind. It breaks my heart when a leaner approach me or other staff members and ask for sanitary wear and I have no way to help them. I am very pleased that AfriSam has selected our school as a recipient, we hardly receive help like this. This initiative will surely relieve parents. It will also help the girls stay in school and motivate learners to work harder and do better in their upcoming exams,’’ Mrs S Lepheana, school principal at Villa Liza Secondary School.
AfriSam also runs career guidance programmes in the three schools to ensure a holistic development of all pupils. The company is also constructing two classrooms at the Villa Liza Secondary School.