Last year, Capetonian Amanda Smith started the Running4Pads initiative after she discovered the Sponsor an African Child drive on social media and felt it was a worthy cause. So to help shine a spotlight on the dire need for sanitary towels amongst women and girls – something she believes should be a basic right and provided to women at no charge – she chose to run her first marathon and gather pads for women who can’t afford it. This year, she’ll be joined by a group of women who’ll be running two marathons – the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.
The group’s goal is to gather 6 000 packets of pads by 15 April, after the completion of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, surpassing the 2 000 packets accumulated last year. They strive to accomplish the same target later in the year on 17 September when they take part in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.
Reaching this target will allow for 500 women to be given a year’s worth of feminine hygiene products, aiding Running4Pads’ objective to have a strong effect on less women rather than a mediocre effect on many. Smith mentioned that this objective drove them to opt for providing one woman with a year’s worth of products instead of providing 12 women with a month’s worth.
It seems Smith’s prayers for the basic right to hygiene products has been answered already with the Kwa-Zulu natal Department of Education providing sanitary towels to pupils from grades four to 12 at certain schools. Nevertheless, it’s necessary for greater action to be taken to cater to girls’ sanitary needs and we hope the Cape follows soon.