The Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) is running a Red Cycle Campaign, which seeks to create awareness around menstrual hygiene and get the public to contribute towards collection of sanitary pads through donations.

The institute has brought in actress and TV host Mbo Mahocs on board to be the face of the campaign, which is also aimed at influencing government to craft a policy to facilitate raising a budget for sanitary pad dispensers in schools.

Mahocs will attend the Umcimbi Wabantu on Saturday where she will speak about the campaign.

WILD executive director Samukeliso Khumalo said through the partnership with Skyz Metro FM, WILD seeks to collect at least 5 000 packets of sanitary pads which will be donated to underprivileged girls in selected schools in rural Matabeleland.

“The high cost of sanitary pads has resulted in many girls using rags, tissue paper, tree leaves, cow dung, old socks and stockings as substitutes. These options can be highly hazardous. Some girls even miss classes if their red days fall during school days. Instead of celebrating menstruation as a life-giving process, our societies still ignorantly attach taboo and myths that are not only bizarre, but terrifying too,” she said.

“We invite the public to be part of the Red Cycle Campaign to help girls enjoy and celebrate their entry into womanhood! Men and boys too are invited to take an active role in this campaign.”

The eTV Scandal actress, who is currently in the country to do courtesy visits at local media outlets and her former school, Eveline High, will attend the Umcimbi Wabantu. Mbo Mahocs encouraged people to attend the event and also bring something to donate towards the campaign.

“We encourage everyone to come through at Umcimbi and also bring a pack or two, and even donate a dollar or more towards the initiative,” she said.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Paper Bag Africa said the initiative has come as a measure to counter the high levels of poverty in rural Zimbabwe.

“WILD is interested in partnering with companies, individuals and groups in the drive to improve access to sanitary wear to the girl child in rural Zimbabwe through public awareness, education and supporting policy on Sexual Health Rights,” read the statement in part.

“The campaign also seeks to influence government to scrap value-added tax, on sanitary pads to reduce the burden of cost that ordinary girls and women bear every month in buying them. The government and other stakeholders should contribute towards menstrual hygiene as much as it does towards other necessities such as condoms.”

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