By NYX MCLEAN
Makhanda based non-profit Sisonke South Afrika wants to “end period poverty in our lifetime” through their most recent campaign Palesa Care.
Andile Twani, together with Anele and Ndumiso Mahlakahlaka, co-founded Sisonke South Afrika last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sisonke provides food parcels, clothing, and blankets to those in need.
Since their establishment in August last year, they noticed something else occurring in the communities they serve. A high number of girl children were not attending school. The reason? They did not have access to sanitary pads during their periods.
Palesa Care is a campaign which “ensures that girls, women and menstruators experience their periods with dignity” by providing them with access to sanitary pads. The campaign falls under another programme of Sisonke South Africa, Sisonke Lutsha, which focuses on young people who may experience various challenges which hold them back from thriving.
Andile Twani, the co-founder and director, said that Palesa Care was a meaningful campaign to him because “three out of ten girls in South Africa miss school during their periods because they don’t have access to sanitary pads. Having access to pads is critical to quality education for girl children.”
Sanitary pads are distributed through schools and within more marginalised communities.
Sisonke largely self-funds their work “from our pockets” with the occasional donation from the public. Although they do have a main partner in the soccer academy RR Elite Training run by former Kaizer Chiefs player Rene Richards.
You can support the necessary and critical work of Palesa Care through a financial contribution or by donating sanitary pads. If you want to donate pads, you can call or text 079 5930 861 to arrange collection.
If you would like to help in other ways or want to know more about the campaign, you can follow Sisonke South Afrika on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RealSisonke/ and on Twitter and Instagram @RealSisonke
Name: Sisonke South Afrika
Bank: Standard Bank
Account number: 101563480002
Branch code: 051001
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ