The struggle continues for many young rural girls when it comes to menstrual hygiene compared to their peers in urban areas.
Globally, it is estimated that at least 500 million girls and women lack proper access to menstrual hygiene facilities. Touched by this plight, Umhlobo Wenene FM DJ Zintle Mbusi recently decided to roll up her sleeves and do something to assist rural girls.
Babe Zee, as Zintle is affectionately known, recently donated 2 000 sanitary pads to five schools in Mthatha and Libode in the Eastern Cape.
Speaking to Daily Sun, Zintle said she launched aerobics marathon in Mthatha back in December 2017 and the aim was to collect school shoes and sanitary pads.
“Since then, the initiative has grown tremendously. Nothing fulfils my heart more than seeing the smiles on the girls’ faces and knowing that they can fully focus on their studies without worrying about not having sanitary towels,” said Zintle.
Growing up in the remote parts of the Eastern Cape, Zintle said she often saw many girls suffering humiliation of not having sanitary pads, underwear and school shoes.
“I’ve always wanted to do something to help the needy, especially young rural girls. I started buying school ties for girls back in 2013 as a way to celebrate my birthday. But during those visits I realised that most girls needed sanitary towels more than ties,” said Zintle.
She’s now hoping to expand and reach out to more girls, not only in the Eastern Cape, but in other provinces as well.
“But that is mission impossible for now because I don’t have a sponsor and have to dig deep into my pockets and also rely on Good Samaritans,” she said.
But Zintle said this won’t deter her and she has vowed to continue with her sanitary pads drive next year.
“I won’t stop until the heartbreaking stories of young girls missing school because they don’t have sanitary towels are over.”
She said empowering young rural girls and women is something that she’s passionate about.