This sponsorship is part of the “Always Keeping Girls in School” programme that is managed by the local-based NGO, The Footprints Foundation.
GMSA has a number of employees who reside in the neighbouring communities, including Katlehong.
Ray Abrahams, the acting chief executive officer of GMSA, said they are happy to be associated with such a good cause.
“We are pleased to be associated with such a cause, and we are committed to supporting as many girls as we can in this community. We also commend our employees for not only planting the idea to management but also for the voluntary financial contribution that some of them made. As a result, the company’s decision to financially support this project has ensured that each girl received an additional supply of sanitary pads,” said Abrahams.
In addition to the donation of products, a puberty education session was given to all the girls who participated in the programme.
Two celebrity actresses from a television programme Skeem Saam, Lerato Marabe, also famously known as Pretty Seakamela in a television series, and Nozipho Langa gave learners words of motivation.
When delivering her motivational speech, Marabe encouraged young female learners to be disciplined and focused on their studies.
“Now that you are in high school, some of you have seen their periods already, and some are about to. Pregnancy is now possible. My advice to you all is to stop everything that you are doing that can distract you from achieving your goal, and focus only on your goal,” said Marabe.
She said it was not easy to balance TV shoots and school work.
“Some of you do not know that I am 19-year-old, and only matriculated last year. There was a time when I was supposed to shoot for the show while in matric. Being an average learner did not help me at all. But because I was disciplined, I managed to pass my matric. I even tried to push for the As and Bs. I shamed those people who bad-mouthed me to my parents saying I am not going to pass,” Marabe said.
She advised learners to choose their friends carefully, as some could have a negative influence on their lives.
Langa, also known as Glenda Mogotsi in the television show on SABC 1, advised learners to support one another during menstrual periods.
“Be a sister that you would like other people to be to you. Do not embarrass each other if one of you comes to borrow sanitary towels during their periods. Just give them your support so that they will not miss school because they do not have sanitary towels,” said Langa.
Speaking on behalf of the school, deputy principal Motlalepula Sehole said the donation of sanitary pads was a good gesture as most of the learners came from the disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Sanitary towels is the last thing on parents’ budget as social grant may be their only source of income. So this will be good for the female learners from the school,” said Sehole.
Bores Khuzwayo, the school principal, thanked GMSA, The Footprints Foundation and the Department of Social Development for their support.
“This is the first time such a thing is happening in our school. I wish it can continue for the whole month so that learners can continue to get sanitary towels,” concludes the soft spoken principal.