On Wednesday 7 November 2018 Medupi Project handed over a donation of sanitary towels to 25 female learners at Mfake Primary School, Rob Roy 2 Village, Lephalale. They presented each learner with four packs of sanitary towels to ensure they have a four-month supply.
Addressing the learners, Mr Patrick Seloba, Senior Advisor (Stakeholder Management), representing the project, said: “The project’s management wishes to send these packages to you simply because we understand the urgency and need for sanitary towels. This is what the project stands for: to lend a helping hand anywhere possible and to make a difference in the lives of learners.”
This corporate social investment (CSI) initiative was in line with Eskom’s Sinobuntu value, aimed at helping the learners through their menstrual periods, while reducing absenteeism created by their inability to buy sanitary towels.
Councilor Jack Maeko, Mayor of Lephalale, made the following remark: “This project is exceptional and it contributes to the flagship project of Medupi, which has been contributing to the communities of Lephalale, assisting the municipality in making Lephalale an energy hub and the very first vibrant city in the democratic dispensation.” Furthermore, he alluded to the project’s contribution to the socio-economic side of Lephalale through skills development, infrastructure development and many other CSI projects, including building community halls and schools.
Prior to the handover, Sister Rejoice Maliavusa, Senior Occupational Health Nurse from Eskom Medupi Project, gave a hygiene and health talk, stressing that parents ought to be the first to know when learners were going through their periods and encouraging learners to stay away from sexual conduct, as they were still too young to comprehend the implications of engaging in such conduct. She mentioned that they had to keep the hygiene aspect in mind every time they had their periods by bathing at least twice a day. While presenting the talk, she demonstrated how a sanitary towel was used and fitted.
The mayor applauded Sister Rejoice, agreeing that teenage pregnancy, hygiene, and menstrual periods were still issues that many people were shy to talk about openly with their children. “Sister Rejoice has outlined the topic and educated the learners about it. There is a difference between certification and education; some people have certificates, not education. What Sister Rejoice has given the learners is nothing less than education,” he concluded.
The project donated 10 000 sanitary towels in total, covering a four-month supply to about 2 500 learners enrolled at 17 schools. The schools are located across the three circuits under the Department of Education in Lephalale, namely, Palala North, Ellisras, and Palala South.
“Learners, you should keep this in mind: ‘books before boys, because boys bring kids’,” Mr Marakalala, the Palala North Circuit Manager, said in closing. He made the learners repeat these words, encouraging them to always remember it and ensure that they became the best that they could be and empower themselves through education.
Eskom Medupi Project invested a total amount of R339 000 in purchasing the sanitary towels for female learners in the Lephalale area. This donation will present the learners with school days that are more conducive to learning, without them having to worry about the affordability of sanitary towels, as most of these learners come from a previously disadvantaged background.
“Eskom Medupi, as a responsible corporate citizen, is not just building power stations, but building communities.”