Engen has donated R2.5 million to Caring4Girls, which provides female learners with sanitary towels to help keep them in school during their monthly cycles.
Caring4Girls is an Imbumba Foundation’s initiative and currently reaches 750,000 girls throughout South Africa. It aims to support 1 million girls in 2019 and 2 million by 2020.
At the official cheque hand over, Engen Managing Director and CEO, Yusa’ Hassan stressed the value of education and how important it is to ensure that all young girls are empowered and have the opportunity to realise their full potential.
“We cannot thrive as a society if some of our female learners are left behind, which is why we are very proud to partner with the Imbumba Foundation and contribute to this very meaningful initiative,” commented Hassan.
Research by UNICEF has revealed that most poor girls, especially in the rural areas, miss up to 50 days of schooling per annum due to lack of access to adequate sanitary protection. It is against these shocking statistics that the Imbumba Foundation established Caring4Girls to achieve the following:
- Reach and support underprivileged girls with sanitary towels in South Africa.
- Create menstrual hygiene awareness through education and training.
- Establish Caring4Girls advocacy groups in schools.
- Reduce the high number of school absenteeism and drop-out occurrences caused by menstrual related challenges.
- Complimentary educational workshops on pregnancy prevention, HIV and other related diseases.
Engen’s Head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement, Unathi Njokweni-Magida said it is important for Engen to actively support and take care of the communities in which the company operates.
“At Engen, we strongly believe that a country which is educated is a country that will prosper. By supporting these young girls, we will ensure that their confidence and dignity is retained and that they never have to miss school because of their monthly cycle. Education is a key enabler to transform lives, which is why we are so passionate about this initiative.”
Richard Mabaso, CEO of the Imbumba Foundation thanked Engen for their generous contribution towards an initiative that has been endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation as one of the best initiatives to “Make every day a Mandela Day”.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Engen and together touch and inspire many young girls’ lives,” said Mabaso.
Caring4Girls will roll out in rural areas where the need is often greatest.
The Engen donation will be touch 30 schools, a minimum of three in each of the nine provinces of South Africa, supporting 12,500 girls for a year and distributing a total 1,5 million sanitary pads. It will also be aligned to the Engen Maths & Science School programme.
Caring4Girls is endorsed by the Department of Basic Education. The programme focusses on education and training on puberty and menstrual hygiene management. This includes the safe and environmentally responsible handling, usage and disposal of sanitary towels.