Tag Archives: girls

Keith’s Story

Keith's story

 My name is Keabetswe Keith Mosumane. I jointly own a company called “Bergnek Community Projects” with a very close friend of mine by the name Mr  Warren Te Brugge, who is based in the USA, The main objective of the company is to empower and uplift woman and the youth from my community through small business and projects.

To date we have supplied a water pump for the community and run a number of programs to help the community come up with ideas on what is needed within the community. I originally met Warren in 2010 when he was being interviewed by a radio station is Cape Town about the work he was doing and asked him if he would help us in Bergnek. In the past year we built a community vegetable garden that is a vertical garden like a wall that makes it easy to look after the vegetables and takes up very little space because it is vertical. The garden has over 2,500 plants in it. We have also set up a business called GirlStuff.Period in which we manufacture re-usable cloth sanitary pads for girls and young women. The reason we do it this, is to keep young girls at school hopefully long enough to complete their Matric. In most rural areas, like our community, young girls do not have money to buy pads for their menstruation every month and when they get their periods in class, boys laugh at them and tease them, which causes them not to drop out of school.

We decided to start manufacturing sanitary pads, as a way of trying to get girls back to school. The pads are very comfortable and cost effective, because you can wash and re-use them; one packet consists of five pads and it last up to a year, depending on the individual, and how you look after them. We are hoping to build this into a business supplying menstrual kits to young girls and women across South Africa.

In addition to what we are already doing, we will also want to open a brick manufacturing company that will help create even more employment for the community.

We started the project, after a tragic incident that happen on the 15th of January 2007, in which my two year old son died because of the lack of basic medical support. My son got very sick and died mysteriously after a very brief illness. My mother who was staying with the child, called an ambulance, by the time the ambulance arrived, my son was already dead. This was the most painful experience of my life and working with Warren I’m hoping we can prevent other families from going through similar experiences by creating businesses that generate enough profit for us to provide a health clinic in the community. There is currently no clinic at the community and a mobile clinic comes once every Wednesday but is not sufficient. We want to provide support for mothers and children so that they have the help they need when they need it.

Through my own experience, I realised that there is a lot of disadvantaged people that have also gone through what I went through. I want to put the things in place to prevent this in the future. No Father or Mother is supposed to lose a child at that tender age; I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through. That is the most horrifying and painful thing any mother or father could bear.

At this point we have employed ten women, in the pads making business, and have also built a vegetable garden, as I mentioned, that will provide food for the community and surrounding areas. The future looks good, our goal is to eradicate poverty and build a better future for our people. I believe that, with what we have started it, we can also inspire other people from different communities in South Africa and Africa as whole.

Our menstrual kit business is a new product in South Africa, and we need to get it out to the public and be able to reach out to the marginalized people in our society.

The community projects get support from Canadian based NGO, called My Arms Wide Open, which was founded by Warren Te Brugge. For more information you can log on to www.myarmswideopen.org, By taking a look at the blog postings on the site, you will see the other projects that we do. As Bergnek community project.

We are in the process of applying for financial aid to support the projects so that we can expand our projects and  employ more people creating employment within the community and ultimately eradicating poverty.

SUCCESS STORIES

My Arms Wide Open is also working in Cradock in the Eastern Cape and three week ago, I was in Eastern Cape giving out pads at four school girls in Cradock. I’ve included pictures below from my trip. We have taken small steps at tis point, but steps that are significant in building the support for the communities we serve. Our goal over the next five years is to reach 1,000 communities and to do our part in helping people in the most poverty stricken parts of South Africa.

Get involved with My Arms Wide Open and donate today click here.

Why do girls need our help in Africa?

Why do girls need our help in Africa?

 

We've been asked on a number of occasions why our support in communities is so focused on girls and women. As you already know, from reading our past reports, there is a direct connection between our GirlStuff.Period project and this project, My World in a Garden - Sister Walls. You might remember, we learned to connect the two projects on the ground, when we realized we could get girls back in school but needed to connect them with the food their families needed in order to keep them in school. 

To answer the question posed in the subject of this report, I'd like to share some information with you as to why the focus we have is so important for developing and struggling communities. 

This is what else we've learned 

What we’ve learned first-hand, in our time in communities and international development, is that when we invest in women there is a substantially bigger benefit to the overall community than when we invest the same resources in men. This is supported by decades of development data from around the world.  

According to the OECD.org, women’s economic participation and their ownership and control of productive assets speeds up development, helps overcome poverty, reduces inequalities and improves children’s nutrition, health, and school attendance. Women typically invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men. 

With even a few years of primary education, women have better economic prospects, fewer and healthier children, and better chances of sending their own children to school. If girls’ education continues to secondary level, they will be better equipped to make informed choices about their lives. 

As a part of this, keeping girls in school is critical to development outcomes and the sustainable success of development efforts. With even a few years of primary education, women have better economic prospects, fewer and healthier children, and better chances of sending their own children to school. If girls’ education continues to secondary level, they will be better equipped to make informed choices about their lives. 

Agents of Change 

Women are agents of change in their families, communities and countries. Increasing the voice and participation of women in politics is essential for advancing issues of importance to women on national agendas, with benefits for both women and men. 

As a global family, it is in all of our best interests to help and support girls to become contributing members of their communities and the future leaders in the countries. Girls in Africa are not asking us to do it all for them, they are simply asking us all to help them be afforded the same opportunities boys are. 

Let’s help Girls in Africa. Spread the word. Educate your Friends and Family. Donate today. 

 

Help GirlStuff.Period today with Global Giving International Youth Week Matching Fund Campaign. Get involved and donate today! Please click here.

What would you do without menstrual products?

What would you do without menstrual products?

 

Ask yourself this question, “What would I do without menstrual products?” Now, I’m sure you’re thinking,’Wait!I don’t use menstrual products, I’m a man’ or, ‘What do you mean, do without them?, I have them and get them whenever I need them.’ Well, menstrual products affect each of us, yes even the ‘u’s that doesn’t personally use them.

 Menstrual products are not something ‘we’ talk about. They’re just there and available. We hold them as taboo, and yet menstrual products are so important to your life in general and such an important aspect of good health, and support the ability for women to have babies. There are so many aspects of menstrual health and the products women use that we don’t talk about, or even think about. We are required to wear seat belts and poison can’t go in our food, but we don’t even question what ‘regular’ menstrual products are made with and how drastically and dramatically they can affect a girls and a woman’s life?

Safety aside, think about it, what WOULD you do, if there were none available? How would it affect your ability to work? How would it affect your family? How would it affect you as a parent? How would it affect you personally, your health?

Never mind what we couldn’t do without them, why are they taboo? Why don’t we all talk about them? Why aren’t they a necessity? Think about a girl in Africa, who can’t think about it, because she just HAS TO go without, or go hungry.

While, you’re still thinking about all this, reach out and make a donation to help a girl in Africa stay in school by helping to purchase the reusable, washable and healthy menstrual products she needs. Do it for a Girl, who wants ALL the opportunities boys get. She deserves it. She will shine. She is a Wonderful and Powerful Girl.

 

Help GirlStuff.Period today with Global Giving International Youth Week Matching Fund Campaign. Get involved and donate today! Please click here.

What is the main reason girls quit school in South Africa?

What is the Main Reason Girls Quit School in South Africa?

Why do girls quit schools in developing and underserved countries and communities around the world? It is a valid and highly relevant question both in the interests of girls as well as the communities they live in.

To explain why this happens, I’d like to tell you a short story. My name is Anna, and I’m 14 years old and used to attend school in my village in South Africa. We are a poor family and I live with 6 other siblings and my Mother. I know I have a Father, but I have never met him as he lives and works in the city and sometimes sends money but he doesn’t come home.

When I was 13 I was still at school and was playing at break at school, when all of a sudden the boys and some of the girls started laughing and pointing at me. I could not understand what I had done that was so funny.

One of my friends grabbed my arm and pulled me to the ground to sit down, telling me not to sit on my dress, to pull it out from under me. I was confused and scared and started crying, and they kept pointing and laughing and laughing. My dress felt wet, it was strange, and when I looked down I saw blood! I remember screaming. I jumped up and ran out of school and all the way to our small mud brick house.

My Mother heard me crying and came to see what was wrong. She held me and told me this was a normal part of being a girl. I asked if I might die? Mother smiled and said no my dear, you won’t die. This will come each month and it means your body is getting ready to be able to have babies. I was scared and cried and asked if I could stop the blood. My Mother said I could wear a pad and would also have to wear underwear, but we couldn’t afford either of those, so when I had my period I would have to stay home from school. I said I was embarrassed and afraid and did not want to go back. She told me I would be fine and once the period stopped she took me back to school.

The boys pointed and giggled and I felt really embarrassed all day and did not want to play with anyone for a while. The next month, my period came again as my Mother said it would. She had kept me home a few days before this time so I didn’t have an accident again.

When I got back after this period I felt confused in the classroom as they were talking about things I had not learned and I did not understand. My teacher said I should just be quite and listen. I felt lost and over the next few months it got worse. I didn’t fit in. I noticed some of my girl friends were not at school either. After the 6th month, I never went back to school.

So now you know. I hope my story inspires you to help other girls like me, so we can have menstrual supplies, and underwear so we can learn like the boys can learn.

 

Help GirlStuff.Period today with Global Giving International Youth Week Matching Fund Campaign. Get involved and donate today! Please click here.

What is GirlStuff.Period?

What is GirlStuff.Period?

GirlStuff.Period is not just a play on words and a women led business in the little community of Bergnek, it’s a quest to empower girls, help them stay in school, and inform boys about the opportunities girls miss as a result of a totally human body function. It’s about celebrating being a girl! It’s about bringing an important and wonderful part of a girls life into the light in a respectful and empowering way for both girls and boys.

GirlStuff.Period manufactures menstrual kits and provides education to girls about the use of the kits, while educating boys to by empathetic and understanding why girls may have to miss school more often than they do, thereby missing out on opportunities the boys get simply because they are at school when a girl might be absent.

The menstrual kits that GirlStuff.Period manufactures include the pads they need, a pouch to carry them in and a bag to transport their used pads before they can be washed, along with a pad holder. The pads and the entire kit is washable and reusable and made from materials that are safe for girls as well as very comfortable.

GirlStuff.Period is a manufacturing business, and yet is SO much more. It’s about education, empowerment, and equality. It’s about celebrating girls, at a point in their lives when it is so important for them to know and believe that they are wonderful and powerful and can achieve everything they set their minds to.

Help GirlStuff.Period today with Global Giving International Youth Week Matching Fund Campaign. Get involved and donate today! Please click here.