The Siyakholwa Development Foundation (Siyakholwa), a social enterprise dedicated to uplifting marginalised communities across the Eastern Cape Province and parts of Gauteng, is proud to announce a significant milestone in the fight against period poverty.


This month, Siyakholwa’s team in Gqeberha, in collaboration with a local non-profit, called the Alfidaa Foundation, have successfully manufactured 1,000 washable and re-usable sanitary pads.  The team has started distributing these eco-friendly and cost-effective pads; young girls from the Kwanoxolo-, Alfonso-, and Arries primary schools were some of the worthy recipients.  Each girl received a pack of three sanitary pads.


Period poverty remains a pressing issue, with countless young learners facing the challenges of inadequate access to sanitary products, leading to missed school days and compromised dignity.


Siyakholwa recognises the urgency of addressing this issue and is committed to making a positive impact in the lives of those affected.


The collaboration with the Alfidaa Foundation in Gqeberha is a significant step towards empowering local women in tackling period poverty simultaneously.


The women involved in this partnership have successfully completed a comprehensive sewing course but have struggled to find employment in a competitive job market.  Siyakholwa has stepped in to provide employment opportunities through the Social Employment Fund (SEF), allowing these skilled women to use their talents for a meaningful cause.


“These re-usable pads are not just a solution to poverty; they are a symbol of empowerment and solidarity within our community”, said Dr Rejoice Shumba, CEO of Siyakholwa.


“By providing employment to women who have faced challenges in the workforce, we are not only addressing period poverty, but also promoting economic empowerment and gender equality”.


Siyakholwa’s commitment to alleviating period poverty aligns with the United Nations Sustaianble Development Goals, particularly Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-being) and Goal 5 (Gender Equality).


By producing re-usable sanitary pads locally, Siyakholwa aims to reduce the environmental impact of disposable pads, while promoting women’s economic independence and ensuring that young learners have the resources they need to stay in school.


As Siyakholwa continues to work tirelessly towards its goal of producing 1,000 re-usable pads, they encourage local businesses, organisations, and individuals to join their cause.


Donations of sewing materials, funding, or support in distribution efforts are all welcomed, and will contribute to making a significant difference in the lives of young girls and women in the Eastern Cape.


To get involved, or to learn more about Siyakholwa’s efforts to tackle period poverty, please contact their head office on 043 748 2446.

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