Millions of girls in South Africa miss school every month because they cannot afford the cost of sanitary products.
Senior Manager Health Portfolio Transnet Foundation, Shamona Kandia, Kgomotso Shibane, a pupil at Newgate Secondary School and specialist psychiatrist and Mina co-founder Dr Mashadi Motlana joined Eusebius McKaiser to discuss how girl children can now have access to the Mina cup.
Over the past three years, the Mina Cup has been distributed to over 30 000 girls countrywide, in partnership with the Transnet Foundation.
Kandia said the foundation supports development, and took an interest in promoting women's' health, issues of gender, equality, social justice a couple of years ago.
This particular area of work that we are involved in has an immense impact on society, which very few people realise. The fact that women are leaders, we can inculcate a whole generation of young girls and drive them to be future somebodies in South Africa and that for us is what started the journey of the Transnet Foundation.— Shamona Kandia, Senior Manager Health Portfolio Transnet Foundation
[We are] investing in young women today and ensuring that young women have a fighting chance and Transnet Foundation has been very very heavily involved in advocacy of simply leveling the playing fields out there for young women.— Shamona Kandia, Senior Manager Health Portfolio Transnet Foundation
Shibane explains that a girl's club has been started at her school and meets every Friday. It was there that they were introduced to the Mina Foundation who visited their school and introduced the Mina cup.
She describes the menstrual cup as very easy to use, eco-friendly and cost-effective.
The one thing that we really don't realise is how expensive pads are and to have to buy them every month in households whereby you have over five girls having to buy a pack which usually last an entire month, is something that most South Africans don't realise and really think about on a daily basis.— Kgomotso Shibane, pupil at Newgate Secondary School and Mina Ambassador
She adds that periods are often something you are not supposed to talk about even when you are at school.
You are supposed to be in your own little corner and just secluded from the entire world during that and that is why I am here today.— Kgomotso Shibane, pupil at Newgate Secondary School and Mina Ambassador
Motlana said the Mina Cup has a life of its own, and they wanted to do something that will make a difference.
Listen below to hear how the Mina Cup works: