PROJECT DIGNITY - AN UPDATE FROM ROTARIAN LYNN GEE.

What Rotary Liverpool South is doing to help Project Dignity in South Africa. An update from President Elect Lynn.

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Project Dignity

 

Project Dignity, Rotary Liverpool South and E-Club South Africa One.

 

Can you imagine what it must be like to be an eleven year old with no surviving woman at home after the aids tragedy and to have no guidance when you ‘become a woman.’

 The aim of Project Dignity is to reduce absenteeism and dropout rates in schools and increase opportunities for girls to complete their education with dignity.

The objective of Project Dignity is to empower young girls through education and access to sanitary wear to reach their full potential.

We first became aware of this situation in South Africa after a visit to Liverpool South of Rotarian Michael Ferry, three years ago. We realized that we could help to make a difference. Roughly £5 would provide a young girl with sanitary protection for five years.  This would ensure they could attend school regularly and their health would improve as well as their learning. Since then our club has included Project Dignity in our International Projects and we have worked with the e club of South Africa One in this venture.

We have been able to provide whole year groups at Ekuthuleni Primary School and Kwesethu High School with sanitary protection. There are 9 other high schools and 15 primary schools so Project Dignity can continue for the foreseeable future.  Statistics show that absenteeism has dropped from 25% to zero within four terms!  Year one we sent £500 for a complete year of girls, year two we sent £1000 with a successful district grant and in year three we sent £800 again with a district grant.  

                                                                                       

 It is an unacknowledged problem that girls in Africa miss school and stay at home because of menstruation. According to UNICEF, one in ten schoolgirls in Africa miss classes or drop out completely due to their period, and substitute regular pads or tampons for less safe and less absorbent materials such as rags, newspaper or bark .

The Solution

A re-usable sanitary pad and panty that is 100% cotton therefore allowing the skin to breathe. The elastic is non-woven; rubber based and therefore will not stretch out of shape. The sanitary towel is fully washable therefore reusable. The panty and sanitary towel are made of 100% cotton fabrics therefore will last a minimum of 5 years. The pad contains no gels or absorbent chemicals and is totally biodegradable. It is a “green peace” product, and being biodegradable will not clog landfills.

  

Books before boys because boys bring babies!

A slogan used by the girls themselves.


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