George Maponga in Masvingo
Nearly 400 primary and secondary school girls from two schools in Murinye communal lands in the Masvingo rural heartland have received sanitary ware thanks to a partnership between the country’s largest integrated media house, Zimpapers, and its partners as part of commemorations to mark International Women’s month celebrated in March every year.
Zimpapers managed to source sanitary ware from its partners namely Mutare-based Murambi East Villa and Spa together with Yama Foundation.
Murambi East Villa and Spar donated one-year’s supply of sanitary ware to nearly 100 primary school girls at Uzeze Primary School in Murinye while Yama Foundation donated re-usable sanitary ware for more than 250 secondary school students at Daitai High again in Murinye.
The sanitary ware was handed over to the beneficiaries in Murinye by a Zimpapers team led by the integrated media house’s publications manager Mrs Pauline Matanda and Herald Managing Editor Ms Ruth Butaumocho together with the Yama Foundation team led by its founder Ms Tarie Chirewa.
Speaking during the handover of sanitary ware at Uzeze Primary Mrs Matanda said Zimpapers was engaged partners to provide the sanitary ware as part of its social responsibility programme. The handover of sanitary ware to Uzeze school children also saw the launch of the Zimpapers Junior Media Club at the school which is aimed at promoting a culture of reading in young learners and honing the skills of future journalists.
“We are happy that today we are here at Uzeze Primary school where we are handing over sanitary ware that we sourced from our partners Murambi East Villa and Spa and what is more inspiring is that we are doing it in a remote place like Uzeze which shows Zimpapers commitment to bring on board everyone in the four corners of Zimbabwe in the sphere of development. We have started a new partnership with Uzeze that we hope will grow from strength to strength and we will surely be coming back here again,” she said.
Ms Butaumocho said she was heartened to be part of a drive to empower the girl child, especially at a time when the globe was celebrating International Women’s month.
“Issues to do with empowering the girl child are very close to my heart and I am happy that today we have come here to Uzeze with a programme to handover sanitary ware to the girl child. All I want to say to the girl child is that the sky is the limit take your chances in life you can achieve your dreams no matter the circumstances.”
Teacher in charge of health at Uzeze Mr Shadrach Gava hailed Zimpapers and its partners for donating sanitary ware to primary school girls at his school saying dealing with menstrual issues is a challenge for young girls entering puberty.
“This is a very welcome development and we want to thank Zimpapers and its partners because most young girls here were always pestering me as the teacher in charge of health wanting for help to cope with their menstrual issues because most lack resources to buy sanitary ware and most of them were using pieces of cloth.”
At Daitai Secondary Ms Chirewa and her team from Yama Foundation joined Zimpapers staffers in handing over reusable pads to school authorities led by the headmaster Mr Gibson Rufasha.
Ms Chirewa said her organisation was grounded in the desire to create new avenues and opportunities for the girl child.
“At Yama Foundation was are driven by the need to create opportunities for the girl child to thrive, we also want to give the girl child a voice so that they can be able to come out in the open and talk about the abuse that they will be coming across in their lives,” said Ms Chirewa.
Yama Foundation, added Ms Chirewa, wanted to expand its programme of donating sanitary ware for the girl child in other parts of Zimbabwe saying their next port of call would be paying fees for the disadvantaged girl child as part of the drive by her organisation to drive gender equality.
Mr Rufasha said Daitai High was grateful to Zimpapers and its partners noting that the school requires help to expand the learning of ICTs.