Two Women running 2350kms along the Freedom Trail in South Africa

September 25 – October 27, 2014

The vehicle of “running” for social changeFind Out More

Did you know…

60
% of women and girls in South Africa do not have access to traditional sanitary products
30
% of South African girls do not attend school during menstruation
31.3
% of South Africans live on less than 1$ per day. The cheapest pads at a local store are approx $2 for a pack of 10

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Running on average 80km per day for 32 days on South Africa’s 2350km Freedom Trail, Mimi Anderson (UK) and Samantha Gash (AUS) will promote awareness of this issue and raise funds for the establishment of a social enterprise business.

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Latest Freedom Runner News…

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What do menstruating girls NEED in schools?

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Attending school as an adolescent girl in the developing world provides more challenges than the threat of bullying, a lack of motivation to study and poor body image. Unicef did a study that took a snapshot of the state of education across the globe -

Current estimates place the number of out-of-school children at 93 million – more than the entire population of the Philippines . The majority of these children are girls, and almost 80 per cent of them live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The article below looks at the impact that menstruation has on a girls experience at school. Due to poor facilities and a lack  (and/or high expense) of feminine hygiene products – a large percentage of girls will miss school during their periods. As a consequence of missing close to a week of school ever month, these girls fall behind in their studies, fail tests and have low confidence & self esteem.

A Global Village – What Do Menstruating Girls Need in Schools?

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Stumbling Block to Girls Education

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In the Libode District of South Africa, 18% of girls did not tell anyone about their first period; 56% had difficulty communicating about periods with a significant mature female and; only three out of 489 students could talk to their teacher about life challenges.

Shrouded in mystery, menstruation for young girls in South Africa often ends up being a stumbling block for their education. 30% of girls in South Africa do not attend school during menstruation and on average skip four days of school every month. In the Eastern Cape, 40% of girls in Grade 9 drop out. Young girls are ignorant about sexual reproductive health because their parents and teachers do not talk to them about puberty and menstruation. Some teachers even send girls home when they menstruate.

On a different project, Save the Children (UK) partnered with the Small Projects Foundation and Proctor & Gamble to provide free sanitary pads to girls in rural schools in the Eastern Cape, lobbied school governing bodies to upgrade their toilets and conducted workshops to the girls on communication.

Freedom Runners goes to the next step by working with Save the Children (SA) to create a social enterprise business. The business empowers women and girls to earn an income from manufacturing feminine hygiene products – which in-turn helps to combat a reason why girls are absent from school and normalises the issue of menstruation to their wider community.

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‘Menstrual sanitation is not just a lady issue’ – New Internationalist

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“..investment in projects that directly support women and girls is essential to reducing poverty. In 2012, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that ‘the greatest return comes from investing in girls and women. When they are educated, they drive development in their families, communities and nations.’

Menstrual sanitation is not just a ‘lady issue’

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