Tokai Lion Barbel Schelling was volunteering in Masiphumelele, Cape Town, when she was made aware of the plight of girls in the community schools.
The girls cannot attend school during their menstruation, because the families have no money for sanitary pads. The girls miss out on one week per month, which equates to one quarter of their school time. Tokai Lions confirmed how real this problem is, and that we had been doing small deliveries to schools in the past as and when donations permitted.
Barbel, currently living and working in Germany, decided to try and create some regular funding for Tokai Lions. The Lions Club Tokai and Barbel therefore started a project called Girls Supporting Girls. Barbel works at motivating students in Germany to help girls of the same age at the other end of the world – girls supporting girls. The collected money is used to buy sanitary pads in large quantities and distributed to schools in monthly batches. These deliveries go to schools in Masiphumelele, Ocean View, Retreat, Lavender Hill and Muizenberg.
The vision is to get the girls to attend school without absences due to menstruation. Regular funds come into Tokai Lions from Germany for this project, and because of this we can make a meaningful impact in these communities. Only through education do the children have the chance of a better future in their own country.