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Access to sanitary products for young girls remains a glaring challenge in South Africa.

Not only does it affect their health but their education too.

It is estimated that four to seven million girls lose out on a term's worth of an academic year.

Project Dignity, a nonprofit organisation (NPO), seeks to counter this challenge.

The organisation uses a network of community educators and Life Orientation teachers in schools to raise awareness and distribute sanitary products to young girls in the country.

Most of the girls who are in need of sanitary pads live in rural settings and they can't afford to buy them.

This means they rely on unsafe and unhealthy alternatives including the use of rags and newspapers.

The NPO distributes sustainable, washable pads that can last for up to five years.

It also teaches girls about female health, their rights and how to manage the pads - which serves to empower them to have a fair shot in their educational careers.

However, said Project Dignity founder Sue Barnes, the government has been reluctant to lend a hand to the sanitary pads initiative.

I have tried many government departments to get them on board but are not willing. So, it is a very sad state of affairs... You'd think that government would get on board for such a sustainable item but, no, there seems to be other things that they want to spend their money one.

Sue Barnes, founder - Project Dignity

If you want to help support Project Dignity, you can donate funding or sanitary pads to the NPO.

Find out more about Project Dignity here.

Listen to the full interview below.

This article first appeared on 702 : Govt snubs Project Dignity's sanitary pads distribution project

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