Johannesburg – Alexandra High School temporarily came to a standstill yesterday morning as City of Joburg council speaker Colleen Makhubele and Mokome Foundation delivered a year’s worth of sanitary packs to the girl learners at the school.Story continues below

Former women affairs minister, Bathabile Dlamini recently put the number of young women in our country who struggle to access sanitary products at more than seven million. Although these alarming statistics are upsetting, they are a reality of the country’s indignity and period poverty.

This explains why Makhubele and Dr Vivian Mokome were so eager to lend a hand at Alexandra High School as part of their drive to bring dignity to young women who sometimes suffer indignity due to the shortage of this basic need.

The two women were in the company of teachers and entertainers such as Ntsiki Mazwai, Tallarsetee De MC From Gomora, MJ and SlayQLifestyle, following a dramatic entrance in a helicopter that put a smile on the faces of the young girls.

Makhubele, who originates from Giyani in Limpopo, urged young women to respect their bodies and commit themselves to education before thinking about boys, adding that if it was not for taking education seriously, she would not be the person she is today.

“As young women, you can do everything. You are the most important people here today and I want to tell you that if you take your education very seriously, you can do anything and everything you set your minds to. I grew up in the rural Giyani and one dream I had was to come to Johannesburg, not only Johannesburg, but here in Alexandra.

Joburg Speaker Colleen Makhubele accompanied businesswoman Dr Vivian Mokome on a sanitary drive at Alexandra High School yesterday. Picture: Supplied.

“This is because we were told that Alexandra, unlike where I come from, Alexandra is a place of opportunities. My dream to come here was fulfilled by education to read and study because education is the only way out of hardships … I decided to stop drugs, alcohol and boyfriends and focus all my energies into studying,” she said.Story continues below Advertisement

Makomme said sanitary pads are important for any young woman. She said her hope is to provide young girls from townships an opportunity to focus on their education and not worry about accessing pads.

“Like any of you, I was born and grew up in the dusty streets of Soshanguve, but today, I am here to encourage you not to abort your dreams because as a girl child, you can dream again.

“it doesn’t matter where you come from … do not let anyone steal your dream … I am here to encourage you to go to school … studying something that not many people are studying.Story continues below

“While you might not have control over your menstrual cycle, you have control over your dreams which is why you need to focus on what you can control and not worry about what you have no control over,” she said.

One of the learners who received a pack of sanitary towels told The Star that the initiative meant a lot to her.

“Especially now as we were busy writing exams. We now have no reason to worry about missing school when on her periods,” she said