1 000 schoolgirls receive pads

11 July 2019 | Education

A local organisation that produces washable and affordable sanitary pads distributed packs consisting of six pads each in varying sizes to 1 000 girls in June.

A pack consists of six washable pads and lasts up to four years, keeping Namibian girls behind their school desks.

Ann Pads founder Hermine Bertolini says her organisation, with the help of numerous sponsors, distributed the sanitary pads to four schools in Kavango West, two schools in the Kavango East and three schools in the Zambezi Region during the month of June.

She said during the handing over of the washable pads, the “excitement seen of their faces of the girls was heart-warming”.

Thousands of vulnerable Namibian girls, notably in remote rural areas of the country, struggle each month to access safe sanitary products.

Earlier this year, the Office of the Ombudsman and the education ministry hosted a 'keeping our girls in school' forum, alongside Ann Pads.

The forum underlined that thousands of Namibian girls are forced to “use any available cloth like old T-shirts, socks and even old newspapers, which is very unhygienic”.

As a result, many girls refuse to go to school when they menstruate.

If a girl stays away from school one week every month, for one trimester she misses a whole month of school compared to her male competitor.



A sense of dignity

Bertolini said Ann Pads was launched as a social entrepreneurship project, and designed to give girls and women their dignity back.

They are especially created for those who are unable to afford a costly pack of disposable sanitary pads each cycle.

A pack consisting of six washable pads costs N$120 and can last up to four years. The pads are created to provide optimal moisture management and absorbency and are environmentally friendly.

Bertolini launched Ann Pads from her home in Khomasdal in August 2018 after retiring from nearly 30 years in the textile industry.

She says her background in textiles, including a degree, provided an ideal launch pad for Ann Pads, coupled with the fact that over the years she had noted the crucial need for the issue to be addressed.

“I wanted to do something meaningful, and I knew this was a problem.”

Since the launch of the project in August 2018, nearly 3 000 sanitary pad packs have been distributed at schools.

Bertolini emphasised that providing safe sanitary pads not only ensures young girls can attend school at all times, but it also ensures dignity.



Big problem

In June last year, Namibian Sun reported that as many as 150 000 Namibian schoolgirls could be struggling to access safe sanitary products every month.

Earlier this year, the gender equality and child welfare minister told the National Assembly that only about 17% of girls living in rural areas have access to improved sanitary services.

“Girls who lack resources to buy sanitary products have been silently suffering heart-rending humiliation and academic disadvantages during their menstrual period,” the minister said.

Many have supported calls for providing schoolgirls with free sanitary products to ensure menstruation does not present an obstacle to education.

Last year, Sister Namibia pointed out that most girls begin their menses at an age when they are economically dependent on others. If they are not able to access sanitary products, due to financial constraints of lack of availability, they often “substitute products with traditional or home-based alternatives, which may be unhygienic or even unhealthy.”

The non-profit advocacy group also warned that while some girls stay at home, others find “harmful ways”, including sugar daddies, to afford sanitary products.

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

88 schoolgirls fall pregnant in Oshana

15 hours ago | Education

Eighty-eight learners, including two girls in Grade 7, fell pregnant in the Oshana Region during the first term of 2019. Oshana governor Elia Irimari...

Houses turned into ablution blocks

1 day - 16 July 2019 | Education

Three incomplete teacher's houses constructed at Kasivi Combined School in the Kavango West Region have been turned into ablution facilities for learners.When Namibian Sun visited...

Preparing pupils for emergencies

1 day - 16 July 2019 | Education

Ester Kamati The disaster risk management school quiz is an initiative driven by the City of Windhoek and was introduced with the aim of ensuring...

Russia digs deep to feed pupils

1 day - 16 July 2019 | Education

652 tonnes of wheat and 51 tonnes of cooking oil valued at N$1.5 million to the education ministry’s school feeding scheme.The handover ceremony took place...

Quality education jaded at 'uneconomical schools'

1 day - 16 July 2019 | Education

Most school-going children undertake their studies in a formal structure with access to the resources that enable their learning, including qualified teachers and adequate learning...

100 years of excellence

1 day - 16 July 2019 | Education

Justicia ShipenaOne hundred years ago, on 8 July 1919, St George’s Diocesan School opened its doors for the first time with three staff members and...

A whole new world

1 day - 16 July 2019 | Education

Jacobina Kalunduka I am studying towards a bachelor of accounting degree at the University of Stellenbosch. I started studying last year. I chose accounting...

Privaatskool Welwitschia spog met nuwe perseel

1 day - 16 July 2019 | Education

Michelline Nawatises Privaatskool Welwitschia het op 3 Julie amptelik die nuwe perseel van sy laerskool in Mozartstraat in die hoofstad ingewy. Die hoërskool is...

1 000 schoolgirls receive pads

6 days ago - 11 July 2019 | Education

A local organisation that produces washable and affordable sanitary pads distributed packs consisting of six pads each in varying sizes to 1 000 girls in...

Andjaba to act in Katrina's place

6 days ago - 10 July 2019 | Education

The Namibian Presidency, by way of its press secretary Alfredo Hengari, has announced that Martin Andjaba, currently minister of presidential affairs in the Presidency, has...

Latest News

Keeping up with the neighbours

15 hours ago | Economics

LuandaYou would need around US$2 535.97 in Windhoek to maintain the same standard of living that you can have with US$7 600 in Luanda, assuming...

88 schoolgirls fall pregnant in...

15 hours ago | Education

Eighty-eight learners, including two girls in Grade 7, fell pregnant in the Oshana Region during the first term of 2019. Oshana governor Elia Irimari...

Stop blaming Aawambo - Kapofi

15 hours ago | Government

Home affairs minister Frans Kapofi has cautioned against tribalism and pointed out that there is a growing perception that only the Aawambo are beneficiaries of...

Mom begs for mercy

15 hours ago | Justice

A mother of three minor children is asking the High Court to reduce her four-year prison sentence, or fine her instead, after she pleaded guilty...

Relevant IFRS themes: Anytime, anywhere

15 hours ago | Business

A good understanding of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is crucial to the financial reporting process of IFRS reporters. Banks and Insurers in particular have...

Standard Bank faces strike vote

15 hours ago | Labour

ELVIRA HATTINGH Members of the Bank Workers Union of Namibia (Bawon) are to vote on whether to strike...

Let us tread carefully

15 hours ago | Opinion

When expectations are not met, citizens wronged in this regard should have channels, means and ways to air their grievances and have them addressed effectively.In...

Big banks target South Africa's...

15 hours ago | Business

Emma Rumney - South Africa's biggest banks are betting cut-price accounts, big mortgages and offers on everything from Adidas backpacks to Xboxes will help them...

Zim inflation almost doubles, stirring...

15 hours ago | Economics

MacDonald Dzirutwe and Karin Strohecker - Prices of cooking oil and other basics soared in Zimbabwe as inflation nearly doubled in June, piling pressure on...

Load More