How do we achieve OUR DREAM?
SISTERHOODSA PTY and New Africa Education Foundation (NAEF ) have entered into a partnership agreement, the main aim of which is to ensure that through Corporate Social Investment (CSI) funding the Sisterhood SA sanitary kit and concept is made available to ALL disadvantaged learners in the rural and township public schools falling under the Department Of Basic Education (DBE).
NAEF, in terms of their existing Partnership Agreement with the DBE are thus able to bring huge value in reaching out to these schools located throughout South Africa. The DBE have for years given its blessing to programs aimed at alleviating the absenteeism of young girls denied access to hygienic sanitary wear due to cost and accessibility. The very nature of Sisterhood SA’s approach and proposed use of their totally unique product provides the very catalyst sought by the DBE in fighting absenteeism in a sustainable manner. Furthermore, there is great added value in as much as the educational aspect of the project is concerned where learners will be provided with access to an element which alters unfounded perceptions (considered taboo) surrounding menstruation, early detection of disease and contraception. A brochure provides learners and their Educators with an understanding and consequent ability to communicate any symptoms being experienced and thus empower medical practitioners to arrive at a diligent diagnosis of any pending problems. A holistic one-stop-shop, aligned to the DBE Life Orientation Curriculum!
Addressing hygiene, diseases, body changes, what’s to be expected in puberty and how to detect abnormal changes early on could and will save lives. The combination of sea salt and bicarbonate of soda as a cleaning agent is also the first of it’s kind and serves a few purposes. The products are easily replenished at low cost for washing, those young girls and women who have a high sensitivity to cleaning soaps have an alternative, salt acts as an anti-bacterial and females undergoing chemotherapy who develop a high sensitivity to the current perfumed based disposable products now have an alternative.
The overall concept will not only provide a product, however, but early detection of disease will also ultimately save lives!
Social Justice for Women in SA submitted our project to the United Nations and they have endorsed this as the pad project in South Africa. We are awaiting the finalization of funding from the United Nations. The South African Bureau Of Standards were happy for us to continue manufacturing for the first three months where they picked up the tab in terms of costs related to certification and audit charges for the ensuing two years, an emphatic endorsement for our endeavours. All materials used in production are tried and tested, posing absolutely no risk or threat of infection by the use of the product. SABS certification is relevant from August 2021.
Once we have achieved the aim of reaching the majority of DBE learners in the disadvantaged sector, expansion into those Institutions falling under South Africa’s Department Of Higher Education constitutes the next step in our project. This will be approached in similar fashion to that used in the DOE schools through CSI funding and sponsorships. Expansion into Africa as well as all developing countries is a given with interest in the concept in general and product specifically already creating enquiry.
That the product has potential for release to the general public, goes without saying. It is envisaged that the product will be available directly through the retailers and wholesalers in due course.
After three years of sweat and tears in bringing the concept to fruition it is even more gratifying to realise that interest created demand, and to meet the demand we are able to enter the realm of “ job creation” safe in the knowledge that in trying financial times compounded by a world-wide pandemic, the Human Spirit prevails.