Queen empowers young girls

Queen empowers young girls

MASERU – DESPERATELY poor girls in remote villages in Lesotho are being forced to use sheep skin as pads during menstruation. The result is that they have to endure infections and scars caused by friction. Others miss school during their menstrual cycle.

To deal with these challenges, Queen ’Masenate Mohato Seeiso has been driving a project to provide sanitary pads for Basotho girls in schools under a campaign dubbed Hlokomela Banana.

The first batch of the 44 adopted schools received their packs of sanitary towels in January.
Inspired by the success of that project, Hlokomela Banana has now launched a new campaign called Adopt-a-girl, six months after it launched the Adopt-a-school project.
The two projects will see high school girls being supplied with sanitary towels countrywide.

The Adopt-a-school’s main objective is to encourage the corporate world and individuals to commit themselves in supplying a school of its choice with pads for a year.
The Adopt-a-girl is a project in which businesses and individuals are requested to buy pads for one girl in a school.

This is done by texting Hlokomela Banana and sending a message to an Econet number and M60 will be deducted from your account and deposited into the project’s account.
Queen ’Masenate Mohato Seeiso will then use the money to buy sanitary pads for the girls.

The Hlokomela Banana project was launched in August 2016 at St. James High School in Mokhotlong.
The project has partnered with the private sector, individuals and other foundations adopting at least 44 schools in the ten districts.
It is after the launch of the Adopt-a-school campaign that partners proposed that the project should allow individuals to pledge to a girl in high school.

“We had to go back to the drawing board to see how we can incorporate adopting one girl for a year,” Nthakoana Ngatane, the Hlokomela Banana Ambassador, said.
“The team came up with an sms line through the help of Econet to make this campaign possible,” she said.
Ngatane said only three girls were absent when the schools were visited to hand over the pads. She said the donations will ensure that no girl child misses school because of her periods.

“And we have since received reports that none but a few have missed school,” Ngatane said.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting in Maseru yesterday, Queen ’Masenate, said caring and looking out for girls is a project close to her heart.
“I look out for equal opportunities for our girls in the country,” the Queen said.
“Hlokomela Banana is a project that ensures that all girls in high school get free sanitary towels and as a trust we see the success of the Adopt-a-school campaign and the Adopt-a-girl campaign,” she said.

“I am delighted to inform you that none of the 11 000 girls missed school in January and February 2017 because they did not have sanitary pads,” she said.
She said the project will empower and educate women.

“Much appreciation to the Ministry of Education for the help and support they have given the project, corporate companies, sponsors and individuals for giving a helping hand,” she said.

The Queen said it is her wish to see all girls in the country with sanitary towels for free.

Staff Reporter

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