Researchers have found that at least 30% of girls in South Africa do not attend school when they are menstruating because they cannot afford sanitary products.
This well-known statistic has prompted the staff at Tavcor Volkswagen George to run a girls’ hygiene programme to support schools in the region.
The initiative was spearheaded by Tavcor Sales Executive Andile Xelegu, who identified some of the schools in need, and soon the entire team at Tavcor VW George was onboard with the project.
“Instead of learners going home when it is that time of the month, they now stay in school. The donation has made a huge difference and has also helped with the communication between the Grade 6 and 7 girls and the female teachers at the school,” said Tyholora Primary School Principal Mncedisi Ntentile.
Tavcor VW George’s donation of sanitary products at Imizamo Yethu Secondary School was equally welcomed by Principal Phumla Cona.
“The donation really came at the right time. Especially now our parents are not working, or they only work certain times of the year on nearby farms, and they have no real income. The project has been a great help,” said Cona.
Xelegu also identified other needs in the Thembalethu community, including children from schools in the area who could not afford school shoes.
“We started in 2018 and never stopped since then. We are involved with four schools and have collected money to pay for more than 20 children’s school shoes. We plan to make this a yearly initiative. The headmasters identify the children who are most in need of shoes,” said Xelegu.
In addition to starting the girls’ hygiene programme and ‘Andile’s Shoe Box’ initiative, this ambitious Tavcor VW George Sales Executive has also been instrumental in putting the Southern Cape Gospel Awards on the map.
The awards, which was founded by Xelegu, aim to give exposure to up-and-coming gospel artists and to honour community members who are doing good in their community by changing the lives of people for the better.
“Last year, more than a thousand people attended the event, which was televised, and it keeps on growing. It is multicultural event that involves the entire George community,” said Xelegu.