Graceland takes part in Mandela Day

The girls were excited to be able to discuss a topic that is often taboo in their spaces

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The Bulletin News

On 18 and 19 July, the female staff members of Graceland visited schools in eMbalenhle to educate the senior girls on feminine hygiene and hand out MY Own Cup (with the explicit consent of their parents). The visits were a part of Graceland’s Mandela Day initiative.
Although exact figures are difficult to come by, several surveys by organisations such as Africa Check and Community Chest show that thousands of South African schoolgirls regularly miss school because of lack of access to sanitary pads. My Own Cup, a reusable menstrual cup, aims to offer a solution to this issue. My Own Cup is described as an alternative which is “hygienic, uncomplicated, safe, eco-friendly and cost-effective”. It alleviates the problem of the estimated 45 billion sanitary pads that are disposed of annually, and a single cup can be used by a girl for up to 5 years.
Girls from Vukuzithathe, Zamokuhle, Tholukwazi, Buyani, Thorosong, Lifalethu, Maphala Gulube, Shapeve and eMbalenhle Primary School were gathered, to have an open discussion about menstruation, as well as to view a demonstration regarding the use of My Own Cup.
The girls were excited to be able to discuss a topic that is often taboo in their spaces. Thanking the Graceland team, a Grade 7 learner from Vukuzithathe Primary School said: “some of us do not have mothers and parents to give us the talk about menstruation, so thank you for having this discussion.” The stigma visibly melted as the girls grew more open and comfortable with the discussion and left feeling confident with their feminine experiences.

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