It was a day of glitz and glamour all in the name of charity as womenshowed up at Boetelo Sun Valley looking their absolute best on Saturday March 12. And the occasion; Dignity Foundation Trust High Tea. The Boetelo garden setting with the canopy of trees providing much needed shade from the scorching sun provided a breather away from the city hustle and bustle.
Kaone Moremong’s House of Kay designs also added a touch of class as young beautiful models strutted her stuff on the stage.
South African television personality and actress Nthati Moshesh was the guest speaker while songstress Sethunya Maele serenaded the guests. But all the fashion, cake, tea, wine, and fun were punctuated but a common denomination. The day was all about giving back to the underprivileged girls around the country and providing them with the all-important sanitary pads. Every guest had to bring a box of sanitary pads. Electronics, appliances, wine, and a designer dress by Mothusi Lesolle were some of the stuff auditioned to raise money for the trust.
“We are here to celebrate but also to discuss some serious issues that affect the girl child and young women,” Dignity Foundation Trustee, Dr Banu Khan made it clear from the onset.
“There are many issues that affect the girl child and young women especially those from underprivileged backgrounds.” Khan said millions of girls around the world between the ages of 10-15 years live below the poverty line. She highlighted sexual and reproductive health as one of the most important challenges (amongst many others) for young women and girls.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) data shows that one (1) in ten (10) school girls in Africa miss school or drop out completely due to lack of sanitary pads to use during their menstrual cycle. “These girls from poor households in urban and rural areas cannot afford sanitary pads and instead are forced to use old clothes, rags, newspapers and plastic bags etc. putting them at health risks and taking away their dignity,” Khan said, adding, “Many of these girls miss on average five (5) school days per month amounting to approximately 45 school days per year, leading to poor performance at school, dropping out of school and the vicious cycle of poverty is repeated.” She said it is this need that gave birth to the Dignity Foundation Trust. “The founder is Mokgadi Nteta, a very compassionate and passionate Motswana woman who has worked tirelessly to set up the Dignity Foundation Trust and organise many fund raising events as well as secure regular funds.” Khan said the Foundation currently has no employees but does have a Board of Trustees whose members are from various backgrounds such as health, finance, business and human resources. The Board members work on a voluntary basis giving their time to raise funds, create awareness and assist in any way they can.
SA’s Moshesh said when it comes to sanitary pads all women remember their first time. She lauded Dignity Foundation for restoring dignity to young girls. Moshesh also advised the women to support one another and wish only the best for each other.
The Dignity Foundation is a non-profit organisation registered in Botswana in December 2013. The foundation depends on donations from Good Samaritans for resources and to fund operational costs.
The Dignity Foundation Trust Mission: To promote the dignity and well-being of the girl child and young woman by enabling access to appropriate services and products through effective advocacy, sustainable fund raising, prudent resource management and value adding strategic alliances. Our aim is to empower and improve the lives of the underprivileged girl child and young woman, in recognising the needs and disadvantages experienced by them in multifaceted ways. But above all, our primary concern is the humiliation and indignity experienced by girls when they stain their clothes or miss school just because they do not have sanitary pads to use as they cannot afford to buy the pads. Please continue to support and restore the dignity of underprivileged girls and young young women. Some of the ways you can do this is to provide us with ideas for fund raising, networking to access relevant people and services, donating sanitary pads, money, volunteering your own skills and services.