Please make a donation to our girls’ initiatives and help us in supporting young women in Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
This campaign is focused on providing opportunities for young women at our partner schools, ASoH is doing this by holding a club for learners to connect with each other and discuss issues that are absent from school curriculum but very much important to build confidence and strengthen career planning among young women.
As we grow, we have been looking for new ways to support learners at our partner schools. Female learners in Mpumalanga have to overcome a great deal of obstacles when it comes to completing their education. Girls often miss school or even drop out due to household responsibilities, poor sanitation facilities at schools, lack of menstrual hygiene products, poverty, and for some, teenage pregnancy. After talking with girls, teachers, and principals at our partner schools we learned that female learners are in need of greater support within their schools. A lack of privacy and access to menstrual hygiene products makes it difficult for girls to take care of their periods during the school day. Girls often feel discouraged at school and hesitate to participate in class. We wanted to create a program that would empower and address these issues.
We first created a Girls’ Club using resources from Women Strong International’s Strong Girls Make Strong Women curriculum and through discussions with female educators in Mpumalanga South Africa. This club is designed to meet once every week during the school year. Clubs are led by teachers from our partner schools who volunteer to be facilitators. The club creates a safe space for girls to hang out and discuss an array of topics that are important but are often lacking in everyday school curriculum. We look to help girls become more confident, helping girls to set education/career goals and become leaders in their school and community. Our club is currently being piloted at our partner school, Ntoselemolodi Primary School, and is led by their principal, Madame Thibela.
We are also excited to introduce our new partnership with Mina Cup! Mina Cup is a South African company founded by women that produces reusable menstrual cups. The cups are made from medical grade hypoallergenic silicone and come in two different sizes. Mina cups provide a solution for young girls in these rural areas who struggle to afford menstrual hygiene products every month, may attend a school with poor sanitation facilities, and those that may not have regular access to water to wash reusable pads. The Mina Foundation travels globally not only distributing cups to schools, but also empowering girls with information and mentorship about female hygiene and sanitation. We have partnered with Mina to not only distribute these cups to our partner schools but to also train three young women from our communities to become Mina Mentors! These mentors will lead workshops at our partner schools, teaching the girls about the cups, answering any and all questions, and providing additional support through whatsapp.
In the next two years, we will be working to introduce the club and Mina Cup to several more of our partner schools including primary and secondary schools.