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Sanitary pad factory opens in Alex

CORPORATES have joined forces to support women by opening a sanitary pad factory in Alexandra to eliminate period poverty and provide jobs for the unemployed. It is believed that two-and-a-half million young girls and women in South Africa have no access to sanitary pads during their monthly cycle, forcing young girls to miss school when they are menstruating.

The Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, and Web help, an award-winning leader in customer experience and business solutions, have joined forces with Blossom Care Solutions to fight this national problem in a practical, holistic way.

Shamiela Sarlie, managing director at Blossom Care Solutions, a social enterprise founded to combat issues brought about by period poverty in South Africa, while also investing in sustainable job creation, explained: “The overall impact of period poverty is to present even more obstacles to the learning and development of those young girls and women who are affected by it when compared to their male counterparts.

“This, together with the social stigma that is still associated with menstruation in the township and rural markets, causes additional social and economic disadvantages to those affected. This is why Blossom Care Solutions was established in 2019 as a mission-centric social enterprise: for women, by women,” said Sarlie.

Sarlie added that six previously unemployed young women would be employed to work in the factory, producing enough pads to eliminate period poverty for thousands of school girls each year. Claire Carroll, head of sales and service at the Co-op, said they were pleased to offer support to Blossom Care Solutions, which was making strides in eliminating period poverty.

“At the Co-op, we believe in co-op- erating for a fairer world. We’re proud to play a small part in helping to eliminate period poverty for thou- sands of women, while creating job opportunities at the Blossom factory,” said Carroll.

Cathy Kalamaras, Webhelp’s people director of South Africa, said: “When we see the numbers of young girls and women in our more disadvan- taged communities who do not use sanitary pads, or are occasional users, and look at new ways to alleviate the unemployment situation, the work of Blossom Care Solutions becomes even more vital.”

SOURCE: 4 October 2021 The Star Page 3

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