Always Keeping Girls in School (AKGIS) has partnered today with Lead SA and Proudly South African to deliver Empowering Girls in School Sanitary project. The project seeks to make sanitary pads accessible to young girls who are unable to afford or have access to them.
AKGIS is an initiative by Procter & Gamble (P&G) and aims to raise awareness about the extent of the problem amongst teenagers and add efforts around the mass distribution of sanitary products to disadvantaged girls across South Africa.
The launch event, held at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton and hosted by former Miss SA Bokang Montjane, was endorsed by Deputy Minister of Communications Ms Thembisa Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams; Dr. Paul Cromhout, Managing Director of Small Projects Foundation and Lesley Sedibe, CEO of Proudly South African.
“We are honoured to be part of this project with our influential partners and we encourage businesses to contribute to this initiative,’’ said Khulu Mabaso, Associate Director of Communications for Sub-Saharan Africa at P&G.
“Our AKGIS initiative aims to prevent girls from missing school during their menstruation cycle by donating sanitary pads, providing puberty education and motivating girls to stay in school. By contributing to the Sanitary Project we hope to extend the awareness and impact of AKGIS.”
As part of the event, AKGIS provided 120 sanitary packs to girls from various schools that attended the event which included items such as Always sanitary towels and a puberty education booklet that aimed to educate girls about the changes their body go through during puberty.
A panel discussion moderated by Lesley Sedibe, discussed issues that affect young girls in South Africa and ways that corporate and citizen can assist to alleviate these issues in our schools and communities.
In addition to this, the attendees signed a pledge form to show solidarity towards the project and to support the call to action that was led by Lead SA. The call to action encourages people to donate pads towards young girls who can’t afford to buy their own.
“We have a responsibility as South African citizen to take care of our young girls and with this initiative we want to give pupils the dignity they deserve and make sure that they are clean and healthy during their monthly periods,” said Lesley Sedibe, CEO of Proudly South African.
Since the AKGIS campaign started in 2006, it has worked with eight partners in 17 countries, reaching more than 80,000 girls in the developing world. In 2012, P&G made a commitment to help keep 10 000 girls in schools in different regions across the country for the next three years.