MARIENTAL - The outgoing headgirl of Mariental High School Donna Gamatham has launched a reusable sanitary towels project to sensitise both men and women on the effects of the menstrual cycle on the girl child.
The 18-year-old, during her reign as Miss Mariental High School 2018, also took part in Miss High School 2019 beauty pageant, where one of the requirements of the competition was to submit a video presenting a charity project a contestant is involved in.
“Usually, when one talks about charity work, the first thing that comes to mind is to visit the old-age home, growing a community garden or visiting the children’s ward at the hospital. So, I wanted my project to be unique to Hardap Region – that is how the initiative came about,” she explained.
However, Gamatham added it was not easy to elevate the project off the ground, as it requires money – which she didn’t have.
She eventually caught the attention of the regional governor, who was interested in lending a helping hand to make the project a success.
“The material to make the pads is unfortunately not available in the country, so I had to ask the governor for financial aid to acquire the material from South Africa. The office of the governor bought the material for N$9 000 and spent another N$1 000 to transport the materials from South Africa to Namibia,” she recounted, adding that the material she acquired makes about 100 packs, each consisting four to six pads.
Donna explains that a group of 44 girls and boys from Mariental High School, under the leadership of their Life Skills teacher, underwent training on how to sew the re-usable pads.
“Eveline Nakale of Children’s Movement taught us how to sew the pads. Because it is examinations time, we will only officially start sewing the pads in January 2020. Once the pads are finished, the Life Skills teacher will then distribute them to those who are really in need,” she elaborated.
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture loaned the group four sewing machines to kickstart the project.
Hardap governor Esme Isaack, who also attended the launch, encouraged school-going girls to capitalise on the initiative and take ownership of the project, exclaiming it will benefit the girl child who often cannot afford pads and stays away from school during menstruation.
2019-11-15 08:04:15 2 months ago