The educational opportunities of 1000 young South African women have been drastically improved by the generous donation of packs of Subz Pants and Pads corporate sponsor, the Ipsos Foundation, throughout September and October.
“Every month, our database of recipients grows as more schools and NPOs discover the benefits of Subz washable sanitary packs,” said Sue Barnes, founder of Subz Pants and Pads, and its NPO extension, Project Dignity.
They constantly work to meet the need, but the reality is that, without corporate sponsorship, they just can’t reach schools as quickly as they would like.
Young women in disadvantaged communities will often miss up to a week of school every month because of a lack of sanitary pads, sacrificing vital educational input for the sake of deserved dignity.
While the South African government is working to address the issue, there has been no investment in sustainable sanitary pads.
Barnes and her team are incredibly grateful for the generous donation by Ipsos.
“Thanks to this amazing contribution, we have been able to undertake a number of activations at schools countrywide, educating 1000 young women about puberty and distributing the Subz packs,” she said.
Ipsos is a global market research and consulting firm with a presence in 89 countries.
Tessa Schoeman, of Ipsos Laboratories, said they had chosen Project Dignity as a recipient as education and female empowerment was ‘close to her heart’.
“The importance of educating girls should not be underestimated. Research has shown that girls who stay in school longer are less likely to contract HIV, more likely to marry later and have fewer children. Girls attending school also seek education for their own children, thereby improving an entire nation’s education,” said Schoeman.
She explained that Ipsos International established the Ipsos Foundation to carry out educational programmes for underprivileged children worldwide.
As an Ipsos employee, she is able to apply for funds to donate to a local charity that provides access to education.
Project Dignity fits in with this approach of enabling young girls to attend school, furthering their education and ultimately improving their lives.
“With this grant from the Ipsos Foundation and the work of Project Dignity, we are hoping to have a positive impact on these young girls’ futures,” she added.
The uMkomaas-based NPO, Door to Door Foundation, partnered with Project Dignity on the Sidelile High School activation.
The organisation’s head, Sihle Phungula, extended his gratitude to the Ipsos Foundation and Project Dignity for the chance to address these 150 grade nine schoolgirls.
“This partnership shows that these are sincere organisations, committed to assisting rural communities,” he said.
In addition to the 1000 packs donated through Ipsos funding, Project Dignity was able to distribute a further 885 packs of Subz Pants and Pads because of the support of individual donors.
The recipients included four KwaZulu-Natal schools as well as NPO’s Sizokhula in KwaMashu, Hands of Luv in Cape Town and Sonke Gender Justice, as well as two Eastern Cape-based NPOs.
Commenting on the donations, Barnes said it is thanks to the love, care and awareness of the severity of this issue by their donors that they have been able to continue to do the work that they do and make a difference in these young girls’ lives.
“We hope that we will continue to receive this amazing support, from corporates and individuals, in the upcoming months,” she added.