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. “We constantly work to meet the need, but the reality is that, without corporate sponsorship, we just can’t reach schools as quickly as we 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.
“We are incredibly grateful for the generous donation by Ipsos,” continued Barnes. “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.”
The Project Dignity activations through Ipsos Foundation donations:
• Orchard Primary School (Joburg) – 100 packs distributed on 12 September.
• Alexandria High School (Joburg) – 150 packs distributed on 18 September.
• Asibemunye High School, Mphophomeni (KZN) – 125 packs distributed on 10 October.
• Sidelile High School, Amanzimtoti (KZN) – 150 packs distributed on 12 October.
• Ubuhle Bemfundo Senior School, Clarmont (KZN) – 100 packs distributed on 15 October.
• Woodlands Primary School, Pietermaritzburg (KZN) – 125 packs distributed on 16 October.
• Kensington High School (Cape Town) – 250 packs distributed on 18 October.
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,” explained Schoeman. “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.”
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,” continued Schoeman. “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.”
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 9 schoolgirls.
“This partnership shows that these are sincere organisations, committed to assisting rural communities,” he said. “The girls left the activation with confidence and valuable learnings that will help them make better decisions and hopefully grow into stronger and more confident women to conquer the world.”
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 our donors that we have been able to continue to do the work that we 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.”
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