Zimbabwe. Harare: Ordinary (O) level students created the Bright Girl Movement (BGM) and launched a “donate a pad, save her from cancer” campaign to facilitate proper access to sexual reproductive health services to less privileged girls during Covid-19. The campaign was launched on 10 Nov. and will continue until the end of the year targeting Mbare and other parts of Sunningdale.
Parents struggle to meet the demand
In an interview with Transcontinental Times, BGM Secretary-General Mitchel Chirombe said the campaign seeks to help every girl child meet her sexual reproductive health demands during this time of Covid-19 as parents are striving to make ends meet.
Chirombe said, “The skyrocketing costs of sanitary pads has made girl’s vulnerable during her monthly period as parents hardly find the money for food and rent. This totally suspends the child’s right to sanitary wear and there is nobody to blame as money is hard to come by especially to vendors and self-employed parents.”
Call for donations
Some girls are using unhygienic cloths as a replacement for sanitary pads. Parents save their earnings for other basic needs. Prices of sanitary pads vary from $1 to $3.
“We are using our savings to run the campaign because as girls we can’t risk another girl not accessing her health rights,” said Chirombe.
Chirombe believes there are some people who are capable of helping, but many are unaware of the platform to donate. She said, “Some people have money but they don’t know anyone in need and have no idea on how to offer their help. Therefore, through this campaign, we are calling to those who have the ability to help in form of money, toiletries, clothes and pads.”
She added, “We are trying to expose the dangers that a girl faces if she does not have access to sanitary pads.”
Chirombe said the campaign targets Mbare area, as a large number of less privileged girls live here. The campaign seeks to first meet needs within the vicinity. She said, “Charity begins at home. We are quite aware of those in rural areas, but Mbare has a high rate of less privileged girls,” she said.
Lack of funding has limited the campaign to cover many areas as the organisation is comprised of ‘O’ level students.
BGM was formed in August 2020 by ‘O’ Level girls in light of Covid-19 pandemic.