Pupils at Bonteheuwel’s Rosewood Primary School received 100 packs of sanitary towels last Wednesday from Running 4 Pads.
The non-profit organisation was started in 2016 after the founder, Amanda Smith, ran her first marathon and needed a cause to run for.
Ms Smith said many girls stayed absent because they could not afford to buy pads, and used newspaper or pieces of cloth instead.
“Until we have reached a point where sanitary towels are freely available at schools and from government, we will continue to run for pads,” she said.
Members of the organisation enter marathons and encourage donors to donate packets of pads for each kilometre they run.
So far, Running 4 Pads has collected just under 25 000 sanitary towel packs and donated them to about 30 schools in Cape Town.
This year the organisation collected 5 295 packs of pads and donated them to 10 schools and four community organisations.
“We are trying to get to all the schools in Cape Town,” said Ms Smith. “In the Bonteheuwel area, we’ve done about six schools so far. As a woman and as a human being, it isn’t a luxury item, it’s a necessity. It is something that everyone should have access to,” she said.
School secretary Zelda Jacobs, who received the donation, said the pads would be handed out to the pupils who needed them.
“A lot of girls come every month and ask for pads because many of them can’t afford it as they come from poor backgrounds. We are very thankful for it, as we really need it for our girls,” she said.
School principal Fahema Meyer said it was the second year the school had received the donation.
“There are girls who ask for a pad every day for about a week, so we know that they can’t afford to purchase it.
“We appreciate whatever we get that we can pass on to our pupils. Many of them live in poor areas and are backyard dwellers or stay with their grandparents, so they can’t afford sanitary towels,” she said.