Cycling for sanitary padsThe Blush Foundation, one of the cycling charity teams sponsored by Nedbank Namibia for the Desert Dash, will ride this year to raise funds for its sanitary towel project.
As a result of poverty, many young women don’t have the means to buy sanitary pads, so they end up using alternatives to manage their monthly cycle; this often results in many girls being absent from school. To date, the project has bought over 15 000 packs of sanitary towels and distributed them in Swakopmund, Henties Bay, Uis, Usakos, Omaruru, Rehoboth, Aus and rural areas in the Erongo region.
The foundation, which was founded by Charlene Hartung, is the CSI arm of All Things Charlie, an online blog geared at empowering women from all walks of life.
“‘Charlie’ means ‘strong man’, aka ‘strong woman’, as women wear many hats or have to fully encompass various roles to make their lives work 100 per cent. The name represents the notion that these are real women and professionals supporting each other and building a community. We believe that it is only when we move together in support of each other that they successfully move forward in life,” Hartung said.
Elaborating on what the proceeds will be used for, Hartung said that the sponsorship of the Dash entry will be used for fundraising for the Blush Foundation.
“One of our projects is called The Sanitary Towel Project, which was established to raise funds to procure sanitary towels, which we then hand out to underprivileged school-going girls across the country,” Hartung said.
The Blush Foundation’s cycling team consists of three male cyclists and one female cyclist. In terms of expectations, Hartung said the most important goal for them is to finish the race. “Just by finishing the race, we will be able to raise funds per kilometre cycled, which will be used to buy the sanitary towels.”
Hartung said the project also partners with other projects for the distribution of the pads and will use the opportunity to promote an education drive to share menstrual health information with young girls and boys.
“We also plan on running a campaign to encourage the public and businesses to sponsor our riders per kilometre cycled to bring awareness to the cause.”
Speaking about the bank’s support of the various charities riding in the Nedbank Desert Dash this year, Nedbank Namibia PR and Communications Manager, Selma Kaulinge said that Nedbank is extremely proud that charities can use the Dash platform to shine a light on various social issues.
“The Dash has become so much more than just a sporting event. We wish all the teams taking part in this year’s event the best of luck and safe riding,” Kaulinge said.
Other sponsors of the All Things Charlie team are Erongo Marine Enterprises, JM Recovery Services CC and Ocean View Shell in Swakopmund. The money donated was used to cover costs including cycling kits, supplements, diesel fuel, as well as support vehicles.
The Nedbank Desert Dash takes place on 9 and 10 December 2022, with more than 900 cyclists participating in the 24-hour, 393-km race from Windhoek to Swakopmund.