On 3 November, 557 learners at Letsete Secondary School and 355 leaners at Lebogang Secondary School in Welkom, Free State, received hygiene hampers from Engen through the Imbumba Foundation initiative, Caring4Girls.
The hampers will ensure that the girls remain in school during their monthly cycles for the remainder of the year. Another 5270 female learners will approach their monthly cycles with confidence and dignity after Engen committed a further R1 million to the Caring4Girls feminine hygiene initiative, following a R2.5 million investment in 2018.
Caring4Girls aims to provide two million girls with sanitary towels by the end of 2020 to help keep them in school during their monthly cycles. During November 2020, sanitary pads will be distributed to over 5270 female learners at 12 schools located close to Engen storage facilities in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and Free State.
Engen Managing Director and CEO, Yusa’ Hassan said, ‘We cannot thrive as a society if some of our female learners are left behind because they are unable to attend school due to feminine hygiene issues, which is why we are proud to partner with the Imbumba Foundation and contribute to this meaningful initiative.’
According to the Imbumba Foundation, research has shown that underprivileged girls miss up to 50 days of school per year due to inaccessible feminine hygiene care. Imbumba Foundation CEO, Richard Mabaso, said the Caring4Girls programme creates a voice for girls in addition to distributing sanitary materials.
‘Caring4Girls also provides health education on puberty and adolescence, to demystify menstrual related myths and break down societal taboos, whilst promoting positive body literacy and autonomy, as well as gender equality,’ he said.
Mabaso acknowledged Engen for its compassion for the young girls and thanked them for making a generous contribution towards the initiative. Earlier this year, 163 learners at Madima Primary School in North West Province and 260 learners at Langalakhe High School in Pietermaritzburg received hygiene hampers.
‘Engen really is a brand that steps up where it matters and truly cares about the less fortunate. We are extremely excited that the company has once again agreed to partner with us. Together we will touch and inspire many young girls’ lives,’ added Mabaso.
‘Education is a key enabler to transform lives, which is why we are so passionate about this initiative because it will help uplift and empower female learners. By supporting these young girls, we will ensure that their dignity is retained and that they never have to miss school because of their monthly cycles,’ said Hassan.
Caring4Girls is endorsed by the Department of Basic Education. The programme focuses on education and training on puberty and menstrual hygiene management and includes the safe and environmentally responsible handling, usage and disposal of sanitary towels.