Sea Point resident Amanda Smith, decided to run her first marathon for the cause. Running4Pads now involves a team of women and men who are all running – and even cycling – to collect sanitary towels for girls who cannot afford it.
Ms Smith said: “I am so excited how Running4Pads has grown and has a life of its own now with people constantly donating where they can.” Running4Pads exceeded their target of 6 000 packs of sanitary pads ahead of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. Before the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, on Sunday September 17, the new target is 8 000, and by the end of the year the aim is to have collected
12 000 packs of pads.
“We have started distributing to various schools and organisations and it is great to see people’s appreciation; and it reemphasises the need for this basic necessity. People are now approaching us to say they also need sanitary products to keep their girls in school,” said Ms Smith.
Running4Pads has distributed mainly to schools in Bonteheuwel, Manenberg and Gugulethu. “The focus is to give the pads to girls to keep them in school, but we have distributed to other organisations if there has been a need, such as to SAPS victim rooms and people who lost everything in the Knysna fires.
“This issue is always pertinent, but as it is Women’s Month it is more vital to talk about it. Why should girls miss a week of school every month for something they have no control over? Girls should not have to lose dignity every month simply because they cannot afford a pack of pads that is being sold with an exorbitant price tag,” said Ms Smith.
The KwaZulu Natal Department of Education, earlier this year said it would be providing packs of sanitary pads to impoverished Grade 4 to 12 girls in selected schools.
“There has been some progress, but more always needs to be done. I will continue to run for pads until every girl who needs them is able to access them for free,” added Ms Smith.
To find out how to get involved or to find the nearest collection point, get in touch on Twitter: @running4pads, on Facebook: Running4Pads, on their website: https://runningforsanitary.wixsite.com/running4pads or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the #running4pads.