Johannesburg – About 100 youth from the Msawawa informal settlement in Kya Sands are to benefit from computer, catering, sewing, beading and art skills development classes.
The classes will equip the teens and young adults with skills to make them employable or able to start their own businesses, thereby contributing towards reducing poverty and dependency.
The skills development initiative is made possible through a collaboration between Hope for Women, Dick Koza Ministries and 24/7 Church under the Tears to Tiaras campaign.
Tears to Tiaras, a community development initiative which seeks to empower, motivate and protect young women against various social ills such as human trafficking, domestic violence and substance abuse.
Deputy Minister of Communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, said government supported the initiative as it speaks to government’s call to work together.
Government recognises that it cannot improve society alone. “We need such initiatives so that they can meet us halfway,” said the Deputy Minister on Saturday,
The Tears to Tiaras campaign will also provide young women with Mina Cups, which are small and soft reusable silicone cups that can last up to five years.
Dineo Ramonnye, from Sirithi which distributes the cups, told SAnews that the Mina Cup is designed specifically for young girls.
“Although it is intimidating, it is actually very easy and safe to use. It can be cleaned with toilet paper until the end of each period when a small amount of boiling water is needed for sterilization,” she explained.
Ramonnye said they had received overwhelmingly positive reaction to Mina Cup.
Twenty-year-old Bathabile Zwane said she was willing to give the cup a try.
“It will save my mother the money of buying sanitary towels every month,” she said, adding that the cost of sanitary wear was too high for her mother who is a domestic worker and a single parent of four children.
Many schoolgirls miss about a week of school every month because they do not have access to sanitary pads.
Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams told SAnews it was important for government to be involved in such initiatives because girls were a crucial part of building the future.
The Deputy Minister said she was supported the call for the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on unavoidable sanitary products.
“We applaud the call. Women also have a right to play their part in the society. They have the right to be respected and given the dignity that they require, hence they need access to sanitary towels like free condoms.”