Executive Chairman for Independent Media, Iqbal Surve, lauded the campaign for driving social change. “We have three missions in the print business: good journalism, to help people and to be a solutions-driven media. And something like this shows that print can positively impact society.”
Independent Media, Dis-Chem and the Dis-Chem Foundation called on the public to donate pads in the six-week campaign which kicked off on 15 June. The purple bins provided in Dis-Chem stores have seen a total of 433,000 packs dropped in by shoppers – enough to assist more than 36,000 girls remain in class for a full year.
The packs will be distributed by Caring4Girls to underprivileged schools around the country, and the recipients receive menstrual hygiene education at the hand-outs.
“The One Million Comforts campaign was first launched in 2015 and sought to recognise and dignify the needs of disadvantaged young girls and women between the ages of 12 and 18 in society. Many do not have access to sanitary care and who, through no fault of their own, could miss up to a quarter of their schooling,” said Barbara McGorian, marketing manager, Gauteng.
Penny Stein, project director for the Dis-Chem Foundation, said the engagement of the cashiers at the Dis-Chem stores played a crucial role in upping the numbers as they encouraged shoppers to open their hearts and wallets.
A large donation by two corporates this week also helped push up the total. Credit Guarantee held a 67-minute telethon on Mandela day between 11h00 and 12h07, to raise pledges from various role players such as employees and clients. Charles Nortje, CEO of Credit Guarantee, said they were overjoyed to play a small part in the Million Comforts campaign.
“I was absolutely humbled by the big-hearted response we received from our clients, brokers, management and staff. It is amazing to hear that our donation will effectively keep nearly 2,000 young women in school for a year! The education, dignity and recognition of the young women of our nation is such a vital part of a transformed society,” said Nortje.
They also challenged Mutual and Federal to do the same and between them, amassed R339,700.
Editor of The Star
, Kevin Ritchie, said the show of support was an indication of how the country was prepared to open their hearts and thanked the public for their generous support as the campaign closed.