Uplifting communities beyond upgrading roads

SANRAL is taking part in a partnership to provide schoolgirls from poorer areas with a year’s supply of sanitary towels.

Learners from Ndzondelelo Senior Secondary School in Zwide, Port Elizabeth received a year’s supply of sanitary towels donated by SANRAL in partnership with Vukani Multi Sport Club.

South Africa’s national road agency sees its mission as broader than just building and maintaining the country’s roads – it is about playing an important role in uplifting communities.

With this in mind, the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) Southern Region joined the Vukani Multi Sport Club (VMSC) on a drive to provide sanitary towels to schoolgirls in Zwide, Port Elizabeth.

Twenty-six Grade 8 girls at Ndzondelelo Senior Secondary School were given a year’s supply of sanitary towels.

This was part of the first phase of the drive by SANRAL’s Southern Region and VMSC to donate personal hygiene products to girls from disadvantaged backgrounds around Nelson Mandela Bay.

“R10 from you will mean something different to the children at the school,” said school principal, Dan Ngcape, who explained that the school serviced very poor areas including Soweto-On-Sea, Zwide and Veeplaas.

“The contributions made by SANRAL and Vukani Multi Sport Club are a huge deal to the kids. These kids will not forget this day,” said Ngcape.

The girls spoke of having to make use of towels or toilet paper or even having to cut up a sock during menstrual cycles.

Sanitary towels cost between R10 and R60 for a pack of 10, depending on the brand purchased.

Every year organisations across the country get involved in providing sanitary towels to schoolgirls from impoverished backgrounds, and thereby providing dignity and support.

Giving back to communities

SANRAL’s national office had a sanitary towel drive last year, said Southern Region marketing coordinator Michelle Ah Shene, and various schools were identified for the donation of sanitary towels.

“Ndzondelelo Senior Secondary School was selected after we were approached by Vukani club to partner with them on the project. The school is also located close to the R75 project in Port Elizabeth that SANRAL is currently working on.

“Supplying a smaller group of girls with a year’s supply of sanitary towels will make more of an impact. The girls will benefit over a longer period of time instead of just receiving a month’s supply of pads,” Ah Shene said.

President of VMSC, Wonga Mfula, said: “It is our responsibility to give back to society and let people know wellness is important”.

Apart from the provision of training programmes in construction works, building roads and bridges, SANRAL also focuses on developing human capital through educational programmes at tertiary institutions, providing internships for trainees and awarding bursaries and scholarships to university students and high school learners, Ah Shene noted.