Eagerness and interest were evident amongst the Grade 11 girls at Letlotlo Secondary School in Mapobane, Pretoria West on Tuesday, 28 March 2017 when the National Research Foundation (NRF) visited the school for their #FreeToBleed initiative. The girls were treated to an educational and motivational talk on the challenges young women face today, which amongst many include the continuation of their education beyond a junior degree, sanitary health and being able to overcome these hardships.
Following the talk, the NRF in partnership with SEI handed over PrincessD Menstrual Cups to the girls. Co-owned and endorsed by Caster Semenya, the double 800m Olympic Gold Medallist, the PrincessD Menstrual Cup is an ultra-soft, medical grade silicone feminine hygiene solution which is reusable for up to five years.
Socio-economic research has shown that many girls use unhygienic alternatives to sanitary pads and tampons, such as newspapers, dirty rags and leaves, which puts them at a huge risk of infection. About nine million girls aged between 11 and 19 do not attend school every month for at least a week because they have nothing to use.
Dr Daisy Selematsela, on behalf of the NRF, remarked that: “Girls from disadvantaged backgrounds can’t afford to purchase these must-have sanitary towels and tampons on a monthly basis. This leads them to miss school during their menstrual period, and therefore fall behind in their school work. As an institution that promotes research and knowledge creation for societal benefit, it was self-evident that we should be part of this initiative and thus help contribute in inspiring these young ladies to stay in school.”
She added that: “The product handed over speaks to research and innovation that is able to answer societal challenges we face as a country. We hope that this will play a part in transforming the lives of these young ladies so that they, in the future, would become researchers and innovators who help find solutions to the many challenges we face as a country.”
About her involvement and passion for this project, Caster Semenya commented that: “Women’s health, especially menstrual matters, is an ongoing issue particularly in rural communities, and I look forward to playing an important role by assisting in providing a cost-effective solution with the PrincessD Menstrual Cup.”
For more information on the PrincessD Menstrual Cup, visit: http://www.princessdmenstrualcup.com or #FreeToBleed on Twitter.
Caption for the picture (from left to right): Some of the Grade 11 girls from Letlotlo Secondary School accompanied by Shamila Ramjawan and Anel Ferreira representing PrincessD Menstrual Cups with Zanele Miya and Patiswa Zibani from the NRF
For further information on the meeting please contact:
Ms Phiwe Zawula
Tel: (012) 481 4198
For media queries please contact:
Ms Palesa Mokoena
National Research Foundation
ABOUT THE NRF: The National Research Foundation (NRF) is an independent statutory body setup in accordance with the National Research Foundation Act. Its mandate is to support and promote research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary research facilities in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all ﬁelds of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge, and thereby contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of all South Africans.
About SEI please visit www.seic.com/SouthAfrica