IKAMVALESIZWE High School in Ekuphumleni has officially been adopted as recipients of local man Thembalethu Tele’s Confident Girls project which saw Tele distribute 118 packs of sanitary pads to 50 school girls Monday afternoon.
Tele started the project as he felt himself growing distant from his community and became concerned when he observed that many young girls in townships are involved with underage drinking and other unsavoury activities.
“Girls seem to have a lack of confidence in themselves as young women. They don’t value themselves and focus on all of the wrong things,” said Tele.
He discovered absenteeism was a major issue at schools due to young girls being sent home or staying away from school during their menses.
Confident Girls, a registered non-profit organisation, aims to collect sanitary pads for needy girls as well as initiate educational workshops where Tele, an experienced healthcare facilitator, talks to young girls about underage drinking, teenage pregnancy, HIV education, drug abuse, leadership, nation building and xenophobia.
“I want to inspire these girls to become confident women and to fight unnecessary absenteeism and to encourage participation in sport,” said Tele.
The sanitary pads which were handed out were made possible by the generosity and kindness of businesses in the Port Alfred area, Tele said. Rosehill Spar, Pick n Pay, Caltex Garage, Christian Harvest Church, Low End Financials and other businesses as well as community members supported Tele in donating the sanitary pads.
Tele said he couldn’t muster any support from government and was disappointed that several meetings with the mayor and social development were fruitless.
“I feel it should be a government responsibility. Our government is wasting millions on condoms. Sex is a choice. When it comes to menstruation sanitary pads are a basic need,” Tele said.
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