Today, the Western Cape MEC for Social Development, Albert Fritz, accompanied by Education MEC, Debbie Schafer, joined NGO partner Al-Imdaad, to visit and make donations to a school and old age home in Gugulethu.
The visits formed part of the MECs oversight and outreach efforts, and focussed specifically on the girl-child and the elderly.
The MECs and Mr. Abed Karrim (Al-Imdaad) donated 200 sanitary pads and hygiene kits to the ID Mkize Senior Secondary School.
In her address, MEC Schafer expressed the need for partnerships in tackling the challenges faced by the girl-child. “This is why we are grateful to NGOs and corporates who donate, as this helps our girls stay in school”, said MEC Schafer.
The Department of Social Development (DSD) has placed a strategic focus on the girl-child. Research indicates girls, especially the poorest, can miss as much as 4 days of school a month due to not having adequate sanitary towels during menstruation.
As part of our efforts, DSD is planning a multi-stakeholder conference with all levels of government, NGOs and the private sector for later in the year.
The conference will workshop a sustainable way in which we can ensure the poorest girls have access to sanitary pads, and reproductive health education.
“The point of this conference will be to build strong delivery partnerships, as no government can deliver on this task alone”, said MEC Fritz, who continued to say, “this is why our role as DSD will be to coordinate resources, and find sustainable solutions to restore the human dignity of the girl”.
MEC Fritz ended the day with a visit to the Ikhaya Loxolo, which is a registered residential facility for older persons. The MEC donated 50 walking sticks, 2 wheel chairs and sanitary pack to the elderly residents at the Home.