School girls from Masimbe Primary and Mariya Secondary in Chipinge last week received an assortment of re-usable sanitary pads and undergarments from a charity organisation Project Kuchengetedza Zviwanikwa (PKZ).
Many communities in the lowveld Chipinge have experienced continuous drought leading to high rate of school drop-outs especially among girls.
According to PKZ, girls in the rural areas of Chipinge often miss school during their menstrual periods as they cannot afford proper sanitary wear.
PKZ Deputy Director, Sibongile Mukonzvi noted that as an organisation, they consider the education of the girl child as equally important as that of boys hence their decision to intervene.
“Plans are at an advanced stage to train school teachers on how to make these sanitary pads so that we can sustain this project.
“Through equipping Fashion and Fabrics classes at secondary level and teacher support at the primary level, PKZ will ensure that sanitary pads are easily and continuously accessible to vulnerable girls,” said Mukonzvi.
She added that PKZ will continue to support disadvantaged girls with more sanitary pads throughout the District of Chipinge.
“To these young girls, pads are not something that they have the privilege of having at any given time, so they could not believe it when we told them that they will not be paying anything,” said one of the teachers at Mariya secondary school.
Statistics show that 20 percent of rural girls do not attend school during their menstrual periods which translate to four days a month and 16 days per term.
According to SNV Zimbabwe 72% of rural girls who menstruate do not use sanitary pads, 45% do not have access to proper sanitary wear and end up using rags, cow dung or grass and leaves during their menstrual periods.