BULAWAYO businesswoman, Mrs Alice Ncube, yesterday donated sanitary wear worth R106 000 to Njube High School pupils as a way of giving back to the institution that employed her for 16 years as a teacher.
A highest-ranking Longrich stockist in Zimbabwe, Mrs Ncube said the donation was part of her efforts to end period poverty in urban areas as she understood how the challenge impacts leaners’ performance in class.
Period poverty refers to the consequences linked to an inability to afford sanitary products to assist with menstruation.
During a brief handover ceremony at the school, a total of 181 learners got three packets of Longrich pads and three tablets of bamboo soap each with a hamper valued at R600.
The distributed hampers are estimated to last one learner for a term. Longrich is a global direct marketing company based in China and has been in operation for 32 years. It produces over 2 000 organic products in the categories of personal care; health and wellness, which include pads, panty liners, soap, toothpaste, mosquito repellents, deodorants, teas, and hand creams.
In an interview after presenting the donation, Mrs Ncube said she was in touch with the reality of many girls whom she taught for years, adding that period poverty remained a challenge for many girls.
She said after leaving Njube High School, the painful stories of her female learners were stuck in her mind, which encouraged her to mobilise resources and donate.
“Having been a teacher for the past 16 years, I interacted with many learners and became aware of their plight. I had many of my students failing to attend classes during their menstruation due to a lack of sanitary wear,” said Mrs Ncube.
“Now that I am into Longrich business, which has recommended high-quality sanitary wear, I decided to give back to my community.
“I desire to end period poverty, especially among urban girls as we are always quick to assume that they have access,” she said.
“The teacher in me is passionate about ensuring that every child gets an education. I have started a project of giving back and restoring the dignity of girls related to period poverty.”
Mrs Ncube said the Njube suburb is her home, which had to benefit first from her project of helping girls access quality sanitary wear.
“Today we have donated to 181 girls drawn from the school and the list includes orphans, the vulnerable and disadvantaged girls at the school,” she said.
“We used that criteria and on top of this we have identified hospitals and orphanages right here in Bulawayo that are also in need since we have launched the project here at Njube, other beneficiaries will get their hampers in the coming weeks.”
Her colleague Mrs Nobuhle Gundu said the donated pads also have healing properties, which will help girls who suffer from ailments.
“I would like to remind our precious girls that they are worthy and capable of achieving their dreams despite present challenges. These pads, which come from our Longrich Zimbabwe team are of great quality, they will help ease premenstrual cramps and reduce the risk of cervical cancer,” she said.
“We hope that our children will grow up knowing that we wish the best for them which should motivate them to ace their studies.”
Njube school head, Mr Zibusiso Msimanga, expressed gratitude for the gesture saying it will go a long way in ensuring that his learners do not miss school due to period poverty.
SOURCE : ZIMBABWE SITUATION