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Vodacom launches Dignity Campaign

by Sunday Express
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…donates M200K worth of reusable sanitary pads

Mimi Machakaire and Mamohlakola Letuka

VODACOM Foundation recently donated M200 000 worth of reusable and eco-friendly sanitary pads with a lifespan of five years to three organisations for onward transmission to deserving girls.

The sanitary pads were handed out at a ceremony at the Vodacom Innovation Hub in Maseru as Vodacom officially launched its dignity campaign which is aimed at ensuring that girls and women have access to safe and hygienic sanitary products as well as raising awareness on women’s health issues.

The campaign also seeks to help girls reclaim the dignity that poverty denies them and to enable them to make lasting and positive impacts in their communities and society.

Vodacom gave away 703 packages, each containing six pads and two panties as part of women’s month celebrations.

Women’s Month is celebrated annually in the month of August as a tribute to more than 20 000 South African women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 August 1956 protesting against the extension of pass laws to women in that country.

Help Lesotho received 300 packages, Maloti Rotary, 203 and Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA), 200 packages.

Help Lesotho was established 13 years ago and more than 15 000 people have benefitted from its education, leadership development and training and psychosocial support services, including children, youth and grandmothers.

LPPA provides a comprehensive range of sexual and reproductive health. It targets school leavers and out-of-school youth and disseminates sexual reproductive health information through drama, puppetry, sports and discussions.

Maluti Rotary focuses on peace and conflict resolution; water and sanitation; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; economic and community development and disease prevention and treatment.

Thato Mochoni, the Vodacom Innovation Hub Communications Officer, revealed that the pads were sourced in South Africa.

“It is with great pleasure that we will be handing over the pads to different implementing partners who share the same vision with us,” Ms Mochoni said.

She said their initiatives were aimed at ensuring the restoration of the dignity and health of adolescents and keeping them in school.

“Our social investment activities are aimed at using Information Communication Technology (ICT) to improve access to education, address community health challenges, combat gender-based violence and advance economic empowerment.

“We achieve this through partnerships with reputable organisations, government, industry leaders and other technology partners.”

The Deputy Minister of Gender, Rethabile Marumo, commended Vodacom for working to protect the dignity of women.

She said that some girls lost at least a week of learning time per month whenever they were experiencing their menstrual cycles.

“I am at ease knowing that this product is approved by the Standards Bureau of South Africa, since we do not have such department.

“It is high time we worked hard to ensure that Lesotho manufactured quality and acceptable products that meet international standards,” Ms Marumo said.

She also pleaded with the organisations to extend their support to young women as well.

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