By John Tuerijama
WINDHOEK secondary schools have welcomed the initiative by Thru Pass Social League to distribute sanitary pads to needy girls.
Thru Pass Social League honorary chairperson, Isack Hamata, announced during the official launch that the league has undertaken, through its clubs, to buy and distribute sanitary products to selected schools in Windhoek.
Principal of A. Shipena Secondary School, Rusten Mogane, welcomed the initiative, saying it would ease the current challenges faced by many schoolgirls.
“We have a serious crisis. The situation is putting too much pressure on the school’s budget to provide sanitary pads to the girls who cannot afford,” said the Mogane.
“Because of this persistent problem, I have personally approached the Ministry of Health to assist us by providing us with these basic necessities but as I am speaking I am still waiting on their response” said the former Brave Warriors coach.
“We are greatly humbled by such an initiative, and I must tell you that we have 600 girls whose age ranges from 13 to 22 years who face this problem on a monthly basis,” stressed Mogane. Cosmos High School Principal Eben Makari, lauded the initiative as positive in that it will lessen the burden on the girls. Makari said at times they have to buy the sanitary pads with their limited funds. “The problem is mostly with our first year girls. At times, they are embarrassed to approach the teachers or simply talk about how to deal with their periods.” He said his other concern is the continuous absence of the girls but is however confident that the problem could be solved with more support from society, such as what the Thru Pass Social League has undertaken to do for schoolgirls. Cosmos High has a total of 400 girls whose age ranges from 12 to 21 years.
Ella du Plessis Secondary School Life Skill teacher, Delphia Jimmy also welcomed the league’s initiative.
“It’s definitely a problem as the girls cannot afford to buy the pads.” She said the girls mostly hail from poor backgrounds and struggle to buy the sanitary pads.
She said although the school does provide sanitary products to needy girls, any further assistance in terms of acquiring more sanitary pads is always welcome.
Jan Jonker Afrikaner Secondary School Principal, Jason Johannes also welcomed the initiative, saying it will help more girls to focus in class.
Just like his counterparts at other schools, Johannes said the problem mainly affects first year girls. He was hopeful that collaborative efforts from different segments of society could help solve the problem of girls staying away from school during their menstruation cycles.
Speaking at the launch, Hamata said the league as an entity and the individual clubs which constitute the league have decided to be much more than just a normal football league.
“We want to contribute to the social reconstruction of the Namibian society, at least in the communities where we live,” said Hamata.
“We read, hear and see how many of our young girls miss out on schooling because of lack of access to sanitary pads during their menstrual cycles,” said Hamata.
“We have decided to join this campaign this year by heightening the focus on this issue in a very practical way. Every month, one of the 12 clubs will buy and donate sanitary pads to a school of their choice in Windhoek. Every month it will be the turn of a different club to buy and donate to a school of their choice,” he revealed.
Hamata expressed the hope that the efforts by the social league will bring the problem into the public domain and by so doing more people, clubs, organisations and families will support the Girl Child in their respective areas.
“We are hoping that through our efforts and those of others, schoolgirls will one day be supplied with free sanitary products to keep them in school and make productive citizens out of them,” he stressed. The Thru Pass Social League comprises 12 clubs made of mainly former Premier League players who have hung their soccer boots and retired from active football.
The teams in the Thru Pass Social League are: Awe Aweh (defending champions), Deportivo FC, Taxi Taxi FC, Harambee FC, Revolution FC, Top Jitas FC, Oshikuku FC, Showtime FC, Bucks FC, Brothers United FC, Happy People and Majimboz FC
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