Matrics make sanitary kits for young women

Emily Teanby and Eloise Stenslunde with some of the sanitary kits packed and ready to go.

Eloise Stenslunde and Emily Teanby, two matrics from Reddam House Constantia, started a project to provide reusable sanitary pads to young women in the community.

Many girls in poor communities miss school days because they cannot afford feminine hygiene products.

Eloise and Emily set themselves the goal of donating 100 “sanitary care kits” to girls who need them.

“We knew this initiative would rely on the generosity of our community, so we put together a video asking for volunteers and donations of fabric, soaps, cloths and money,” said Eloise.

People had responded generously, she said, and they had then been able to start buying fabric and cutting and sewing the bags and pads.

“When all the pads and bags were sewn, collected and brought back to us, Emily and I, along with some of our friends, started putting the kits together.”

“We set up an assembly line of sorts,” said Emily, “filling each handmade bag with a body soap, a laundry soap, a facecloth, a body lotion, five reusable fabric pads and printed instructions for the maintenance of the pads.”

A Reddam teacher, Philiswa Sati, translated the instructions into Xhosa.

Emily and Eloise managed to double their original goal and made 200 sanitary kits, which were given to young women at the Baphumelele Children’s Home in Khayelitsha; mothers and girls in the Paedspal paediatric palliative care programme; and schoolgirls in Site B, Khayelitsha, on Mandela Day, July 18.