Keeping girls in school – one pad at a time

27 April 2021 | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected]
One youngster has decided to stand up and fight against girls leaving school due to their menstrual
cycle and them not being able to afford sanitary products.
Kira Stanley, an 18-year-old grade 12 learner, decided that something needs to be done. “Girls my
age can’t go to do school because they can’t afford pads or tampons, and they are missing out on so
much,” she said.
With that in mind, Kira started the InnerGirl Foundation.
Only three months since its establishment, Kira is excited to see the project gaining momentum.
“There are trolleys at two Pick n Pay outlets and two Spar shops where donations can be dropped.
Albeit slowly, people are placing their sanitary purchases in these trolleys.”
Mom Julia is very proud of her daughter driving a project like this. “It makes me happy to know
she is fighting for the good of others. And she talks to and organises with the managers of the shops
herself.”
Kira says it is wonderful to see Parliament taking a stand and removing VAT that was previously
charged on these items. “But actually these products should be free. Removing VAT is not making a
difference to the girl or woman who has to choose whether to buy food or tampons that month,”
she says.
For her, a pad or tampon should be as freely available as condoms, if not more so.
The InnerGirl Foundation’s first handover will be done in due course and will be for disadvantaged
girls at six schools.
She hopes to expand the initiative beyond Windhoek soon.
According to Stacey, Kira has a close circle of friends who are eager to support her. “Most of them
are girls, but the friend who does the graphic design for InnerGirld Foundation is a boy and he is
eager to support where he can.”
According to the Borgen Project, period poverty has many consequences. “Many women and girls
are forced to use mattresses, clothes and newspapers every month because they cannot afford
sanitary products.”
Action Aid sites that one in ten girls in Africa misses school because they don’t have access to
sanitary products or because there aren’t safe, private toilets to use at their school.
If you want to become involved with the InnerGirl Foundation, don’t hesitate to contact Kira and her
team at [email protected]

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