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Agora's Sanitary Pads Donation Keeps Girls In School

NNASARETHA KGAMANYANE
Agora's Sanitary Pads Donation Keeps Girls In School
In a quest to keep the girl-child in school Agora Club Botswana last Friday donated washable sanitary towels through an international service project, #KeepAGirChildInSchool, at Naledi Senior Secondary School.

Former Agora Club Botswana president, Khurshida Khan said many young teenage girls in Botswana stay away from school for almost a week every month of their menstrual cycle because they cannot afford to buy disposable sanitary towels.

She explained that most of them skip school because they are afraid of staining themselves during their monthly periods while at school.

“In Africa many young teenage girls stay away from school every month of their menstrual cycle, as they are too embarrassed. Can you imagine that is almost a third of their schooling career? Eventually they are unable to cope with the pressures of school and drop out. This in turn cheats them of a better future,” she noted. She said through that project, girls who cannot afford to buy pads are given six reusable pads, a packet of sunlight soap powder, a packet of sunlight soap, a bottle of vinegar for sterilisation and an instruction leaflet with a drying clip to hang the pads.

Khan added that Palesa Pads are eco-friendly since they are made of non-allergic materials as they have a moisture free top and help the girls feel comfortable with their protective absorbent material and are leak-proof below. The pads are said can last up to five years. For her part, Agora Club International president Chris Helsen said through that initiative, they wanted girls to go to school everyday of the month without being interrupted by their menstrual cycle. She said the initiative

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would reduce dropouts and hopefully put a smile on girls’ faces. Naledi Senior Secondary School SRC vice president, Zanele Kokorwe said the event was motivating as it showed them that being female was not a curse but rather an advantage and privilege because it means they are strong human beings. She added that the donations from the foundation would help the less privileged girls who cannot afford to buy disposable sanitary pads. She also pointed out that it would lessen missed school and lessons as a result of menstruation.

“The challenge we normally face as female students in our menstrual cycle is the issue of inadequate sanitary pads, therefore this will reduce those cases (of missing school). We are thankful to Agora for this good gesture,” she happily said.

Keletso Zwane, a member of Agora Club South Africa, demonstrated to the girls how to use the pads. She said the package comes with pads of different sizes and purposes.

She said Palesa Reusable pads did not contain harmful chemicals therefore reduced chances of getting cervical cancer, while promoting no unpleasant odours.  The pads can be worn for 12 hours, are environmentally friendly and one has fewer menstrual cramps, infections and skin rashes when using them. She also said they can easily be washed and hanged for good hygiene and could be easily folded, have a microfiber absorbent core, full waterproof layer, quick absorbing pad lining and a stain-resistant stay dry top layer.



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