August is Women’s Month, and while it’s a time that often gets overshadowed by slightly corny and out of touch branding (tell me I’m lying, I’ll wait). I wanted to shine some light on organisations doing the work to help alleviate period poverty in South Africa
I don’t need to go into detail about how poverty impacts young girls and their periods. There is a serious lack of access to proper sanitary wear in this country. Pads are not the most eco-friendly option, but a lot of people simply don’t have access to electricity (to boil a period cup) or running water in their homes (to wash reusable pads).
While I fully believe that we need to offer options when donating – it’s about being realistic ito what people have access to and listening to their needs.
There are 7 000 000 girls in South Africa between the ages of 13 and 19. This is the school going age of menstruating girls. Statistics show that 4 000 000 of these girls do not have regular access to sanitary products.Project Dignity
In 2017, I ran my first pad drive and donated 94 packs of pads to St Anne’s Shelter. It’s something I’d like to do again with some friends.
So, I thought it would be a good idea to list some drives and ongoing organisations to support, if you don’t want to run your own?
Have a look below and let me know if you have any other suggestions?
Dis-Chem Million Comforts
One of the easiest ways to support pad drives is through the Dis-Chem Million Comforts campaign. It’s an ongoing project, where customers can purchase a selection of pads at (usually) reduced prices. Do your shopping and drop off your packs in the designated bins in every Dis-Chem branch.
The Pad Run
Founded in July 2020, The Pad Run is an NPO founded by Farah Fortune, her sister-in-law and friend.
The Johannesburg-based project aims to alleviate period poverty, and runs regular drives to communities in need. You can follow them on Instagram to see what they’re up to next and how you can contribute.
Dignity Packs South Africa
Located in Gauteng, the Dignity Packs project consists of a kit with a variety of reusable products.
The hamper costs R150 but includes the following:
A small bucket with a lid, reusable pads, washing powder, vinegar, a bag and wipes.
You can donate to their Backabuddy Project here
Keep a Girl in School EL
If you’re in the East London area, this charity organization aims to provide feminine hygiene products to less fortunate and disadvantaged school girls within the Buffalo City Metropolitan Region. You can follow them on Facebook to see what their next project is in the area and how you can help.
Focusing on #KeepAGirlChildInSchool, Palesa Pads offer reusable washable sanitary pads and are based in Gauteng. The product is reusable for around 5 years, cutting down on costs and is a better option for the environment. You can purchase the pads in a host of sizes, from Midi to Mega. Alternatively, they offer Flo kits, which contain hygiene products, pads and a bucket to keep the pads clean. You can also sponsor an activation, where they attend schools/communities in need and offer an educational workshop along with their products. Shop the site here:
I hope you found this helpful!