Keeping the girlchild at school

Rössing Uranium recently donated reusable sanitary pads to the girl child of the Willem Borchard primary school in Okombahe, as part of the mine’s outreach projects.

Okombahe is a settlement in the Dâures constituency of the Erongo region.

Rössing partnered with AnnPads Namibia to provide the girl child from the school with the reusable pads.

At the event, Hermine Bertolini from AnnPads Namibia did a presentation on the socio-economic and psychological impact the menstrual cycle has on learners. The presentation was delivered to girl and boy students as the issue at hand impacts both genders.

The partnership includes training for five girls on how to make their own sanitary pads and also to train their peers.

The school has 104 girls in grades five to seven, the targeted group of the initiative.

Speaking at the handover event, Rössing’s manager for Partnerships, Communication and External Affairs, Daylight Ekandjo, said this donation supports the Ministry of Education’s initiative to keep the girl child in school, even on the days that she is menstruating. Young girls tend to stay out of school during their menstrual cycle if they do not have the required sanitary pads to attend to their needs.

“We read reports of how the girl child continues to stay away from school during their menstrual cycle. Such reports have prompted us to support Government in their efforts to help the girl child stay in school and ultimately complete their education.”

The support in Okombahe is for the primary and the junior secondary schools.

AnnPad packages and starter kits were left for the students who could not attend. The five learners and their teachers from the primary school will teach them how to make their own pads.

a young girl empowered to make her own reusable sanitary pad

An empowering aspect of this project is that students can now make reusable pads for their own use, and can also generate an income through the sale of pads to others who might need them.

young females from the Willem Borchard primary school are taught to make their own reusable sanitary pads

Rössing continues to support the communities in which they operate in and beyond, and it is their hope that this donation to the girl child from Willem Borchard school will make a difference in their lives.

Project partners, AnnPads Nambia’s founder Hermine Bertolini, said they aim to reach the girl child mostly in the rural area and empower them through such initiatives. “I am pleased to have partnered with Rössing on this initiative, as this also helped us educate the boy child through our presentations on menstruation.

“We found great value from the engagements with the learners, as they showed willingness to learn,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of the school, principal Elias Uusiku said the Willem Borchard primary school is honoured for being beneficiaries of Rössing’s outreach programme.

“We appreciate this initiative, and that our school is benefiting from the programme. It means a lot to us,” adding that Rössing should continue investing in communities through its outreach programmes.

Rössing’s support towards “Keeping the Girl Child in School Initiative” is linked to Goals 10, 12 and 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals.