Initiative to restore dignity

Sanitary pads
Sanitary pads
Image: Gallo Images/iStock

Why should only a single month be dedicated to women?

This is the thinking that led to the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) donating more than 1,000 packs of sanitary wear to Hillside Technical and Booysen Park High School.

These efforts formed part of its Women’s Month celebrations through the Coega Development Foundation (CDF), an NPO established by the corporation.

The CDF reached out to young school girls in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas with this initiative to restore their dignity, boost their confidence, and ensure their school attendance is not disrupted.

CDC head Mzoxolo Dube said: “The purpose of this initiative is to ensure that young girls are supported and given an opportunity to grow and develop into mature, confident young women in order to reach their maximum potential.

“The CDF was established based on the CDC’s two decades of experience in the provision of unique and tailor-made socio-economic development solutions,” Dube said.

“Coega prides itself in helping communities and to reach out to those who need our assistance.”

Last week, during the handing out of the sanitary wear, the CDC’s Nadia Kassim said: “If you educate a girl, you educate a nation.

“To deny a child access to education is a human rights violation, yet many girls are more likely to not attend school during their menstrual cycle mainly due to lack of sanitary wear,” she said.

“However, the CDF is making a difference today [September 12] to these girls that are benefiting this month from this initiative.”

The Nelson Mandela Bay district department of education’s Ntombenani Nqana applauded the CDF for giving back to communities and for prioritising local schools in its corporate social responsibility programmes.

“The donation will go a long way in addressing challenges faced by girls in school.

“It will assist pupils to channel their energies in schoolwork,” Nqana said.

Hillside Technical High School principal, Nythil Paulsen, said: “We thank Coega for choosing our schools and for the opportunity granted to our girls.

“In addition, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Coega’s management for this initiative, which is one of the greatest challenges facing our girls,” he said.

CDC marketing, brand and communications head Dr Ayanda Vilakazi instilled hope to the pupils by motivating them to stay in school so that they can be productive members of society.

“Your background must never limit how far your dreams could go.

“Aim beyond the stars and work towards achieving your goals because you are all capable,” Vilakazi said.