CT girls' home hopes to expand sanitary pad vending machine initiative

The sanitary pad vending machine project was launched at the School of Hope in Observatory on Tuesday. The brainchild of the MENstruation Foundation and a local girls' home, O Graceland, it is the first of its kind on the African continent.

A sanitary pad vending machine installed at the School of Hope in Observatory, Cape Town. Picture: @OGLYouth/Facebook

CAPE TOWN - Girls at a Cape Town school will now be able to access sanitary pads dispensed through a vending machine using a token.

The sanitary pad vending machine project was launched at the School of Hope in Observatory on Tuesday.

The brainchild of the MENstruation Foundation and a local girls' home, O Graceland, it is the first of its kind on the African continent.

O Graceland founder, Philani Zama, said that their aim was to kill period poverty as too many girls still missed school while menstruating because they did not have access to sanitary products.

He said that the number of school days missed was equal to about two months of the school year.

"That's a lot of school time. It's crucial that we recognise that young girls missing school is really detrimental."

Zama said that with the help of sponsors, they'd like to reach schools and sports hubs to help girls across the country in critical need of sanitary pads.

Each month, a girl will receive a token to get their free sanitaryware from the vending machine that will be restocked monthly.

Zama called on the public, businesses and civilians to support the initiative.

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