Quite often, we come across companies which voluntarily contribute to a better society by incorporating social and environmental concerns in their business operations. EcoTswana Consultancy, a corporate environmental sustainability consultancy is a company whose unique CSR initiative is aimed at empowering disadvantaged women through its Pad Drive project. The project aims to collect 20, 000 menstrual pads within a space of three months and donate them to less privileged women and girls.The Pad Drive’s first donation will take place this coming weekend on the 24th August at the Main Mall where the pads will be collected.
Co-director of EcoTswana, Thabiso Mauco said; “This will bean awareness campaign where we will be interacting with the public to sensitize them about the educational and health challenges that women and girls who cannot afford to buy pads are facing. People tend to take the need for sanitary towels for granted. They don’t know of the health dangers such as cervical cancer and the fact that female school attendance lags behind compared to that of males in developing countries because girls miss school when they are on their period due to lack of sanitary towels.
”“When we talk about the impact in society, we talk about education.Some girls don’t attend classes or fail to sit for exams, not because they can’t but because they cannot afford to buy pads. Some even prostitute themselves for mere pads,which is sad really,” he continued.Asked why the company decided to donate pads, he said “we noticed that CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)is not common in Botswana,and when companies do decide to give back to the community,they donate food, blankets or houses,and they never provide pads. So we wanted to do something unique that will empower women.
Sure enough the company is run by two males but we have mothers and sisters so we encourage men to standup and help the opposite sex.”Member of Parliament for Gaborone West South, Botsalo Ntuane,had last year tabled a motion in Parliament calling for the provision of free sanitary pads to impoverished female learners in public schools in order to ensure menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls, the campaign failed to take place as envisaged.Commenting on this statement, Mauco said; “No disrespect,but ours is not a political move. We are for the cause. We are the youth,and we are more in touch. We are very dedicated to the project and will do whatever it takes to make it successful.”