Driven by their passion to make a difference and contribute to the lives of their fellow students as well as their community, four Indumiso students, in partnership with the DUT Midlands SRC, have launched a campaign to collect and donate sanitary pads to students and pupils who cannot afford to purchase the items.
Nkosinathi Phungula, fourth-year Bachelor of Education student; Sphiwe Vilakazi, third-year Public Management student; Nokuphiwa Dladla, third-year Nursing student and Snenhlanhla Nyaniso, third-year Ecotourism student and SRC Social Welfare officer, have initiated and conceptualised this drive aiming to assist the aforementioned underprivileged females.
According to Nyaniso, after conducting surveys in the DUT Midlands campuses as well as schools surrounding the campuses, they discovered that many young women missed a number of school-days per month as a result of menstruation. Using a case of one student who reported to have used pieces of material from pillowcases during her menstruation, it became clear that something needed to be done to help the affected females.
“Our goal is to collect as many sanitary pads and tampons as we can. We hope to keep this campaign going even after we have left DUT. We want our fellow students to keep driving this operation. We might not have a sustainable solution at the moment, but right now we want to lend a helping hand where we can. Using tissues and other objects can cause cancer and damage a women’s internal systems,” said Phungula and Nyaniso.
The four students said it has also caught their attention that while some may be able to afford sanitary pads, it is not the case for the vast majority of young female students within the University. “It is sad that some of these young women have to resort to using unhygienic objects such as socks, cloths, newspapers and even old material during that time of the month. We don’t want people to give us money. We just want people to come on board in our goal of collecting sanitary pads of any brand and quantity so that those in need can be assisted and not stress about not having sanitary pads during that time of the month,” added Phungula.
The students have urged anyone, even external stakeholders who are keen to donate sanitary pads, to contact (031) 373 8836 or Nkosinathi Phungula on 071 8187 448 or Snenhlanhla Nyaniso on 060 376 3403. The sanitary pads can also be dropped off at the SRC PMB offices.
– Noxolo Memela
Pictured: Nkosinathi Phungula, Mlondi Khuzwayo and Siphiwe Vilakazi, collecting some of the sanitary pads donated by DUT students.