“Our Fabulous Female campaign raises awareness about the lack of sanitary health for girls”
Girls' education, Global Youth Ambassadors
A foundation that brings together youth in South Africa from different backgrounds celebrates unity in diversity and helps girls to stay in school.
My sister and I were born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and have lived in South Africa since we were two and three. This is the only home we have known.
We started the Sophie A. Kanza Foundation as a means to bring youth together because we felt it was important for youth to know that they can make a difference, regardless of their nationality, race, creed or financial status.
Our volunteers are made up of mostly Congolese and South African youth but we have a number of other African nationals also participating (Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon and Malawi).
The goal is unity in diversity and to create a culture of good deeds. Building friendships and learning from and about each other’s cultures.
If the youth can become open-minded and tolerant, it is then easier to transmit these sentiments and influence others. We also focus on the fear of foreigners – in this case it is the fear of the unknown.
Once we work together towards making a difference we learn that we are all the same, brothers and sisters of Africa. Not enemies or threats.
We focus on:
- Collecting and distributing food, clothes and toiletries
- Recruiting local and African youth as volunteers (unity in diversity)
- Breaking stereotypes of Afrophobia
- #25Dresses Campaign – collecting dresses for Matric Dance of orphaned girls
In 2014 we started a campaign called “Fabulous Female” to raise awareness about the lack of sanitary health for girls.
Many girls are falling behind at school because they are missing many school days when they menstruate due to lack of sanitary towels.
A girl can miss up to seven school days a month because she doesn’t have pads and this is severely affecting the quality of education she will get.
This is a very expensive task and we have gathered the support of our friends and family and had some fundraisers to assist with funds for this much-needed project.
To date, we have reached over 2000 girls in Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal (South Africa), Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo in partnership with other youth-led organisations.
What makes our distributions unique is that they are coupled with education programmes where experts and “big sisters” are present on the day to answer burning questions and to give advice.
I encourage everyone to get involved in this initiative and to start similar ones in every part of the world to ensure girls do not miss school due to menstruation.