Miss South Africa’s Ed-Unite Campaign Benefits Limpopo Students First

Miss South Africa Ndavi Nokeri has chosen her home province to announce a new partnership as part of her much-lauded Ed-Unite movement, with Limpopo students becoming the first beneficiaries.

Ed-Unite by Ndavi Nokeri has collaborated with the Imbumba Foundation and Forever New to help end period poverty through the Imbumba Foundation’s ambitious Caring4Girls program.

Nokeri launched the partnership at the Mashooro Secondary School at Ga Mokgwathi Village near Tzaneen on Tuesday (Nov 29) where she met learners and distributed sanitary pads.

Last month she unveiled her advocacy campaign Ed-Unite which aims to bridge the inequality gap within economically marginalised communities and help ensure an equal playing field for all learners. The programme intends to raise funds for infrastructure and facilities in schools, scholarships and bursaries, medical and menstrual hygiene support as well as sports and training.

In implementing her Ed-Unite campaign, the Miss South Africa title holder plays the role of convenor, linking like-minded groups to act in concert as they redress the inequalities of the past. She acts as a conduit between big corporations, foundations and schools in need, ensuring that businesses with services to offer and finances to spend on Corporate Social Investment are partnered with each other.

Clothing and accessories brand Forever New was the first sponsor to come on board with a pledge of R600 000 to supply sanitary pads and end period poverty as another barrier to education.

The Imbumba Foundation, which has been working directly with the youth in impoverished communities and schools over the past 12 years, has an extensive footprint and experience through the Foundation’s various initiatives including the menstrual hygiene programme Caring4Girls. It was the first non-profit organisation in the menstrual hygiene space in South Africa and also led the lobbying for the successful abolishment of VAT on menstrual products.

Research shows that girls from indigent backgrounds could miss between 30 and 50 days of school each year due to menstrual related challenges, with many simply dropping out completely. Girls’ education and empowerment saves millions of lives.

Caring4Girls focuses on puberty and menstrual hygiene education, demystifying menstrual related myths and addressing social taboos. The training component covers the usage, handling and disposal of sanitary products, as well as questions teenage girls may have about menstruation and adolescence and are too embarrassed or scared to ask from their elders. It addresses peer pressure issues, sexual and reproductive health concerns, and social issues such as Gender Based Violence.

In 2020, the Foundation launched its own brand of SABS-approved sanitary pads which are locally manufactured.

Said Nokeri: “It was a no-brainer for me to return to Limpopo and help learners from my home province thanks to the initial monies raised by my Ed-Unite campaign. We will be visiting more schools in other provinces in the new year. I have to thank Forever New and our partners the Imbumba Foundation who are making such a difference on the ground. Period poverty is another barrier to education for girls in indigent communities. By tackling this we are helping bridge that gap.”

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