Mother and son on 2,500km trip to combat period poverty in South Africa and Zimbabwe

A London mother and son duo are embarking on a 2,500km journey across South Africa and Zimbabwe to distribute sanitary kits to girls living in poverty.

Tanya Puncuh, 46, and Sebastian Quadrelli, 17, will drive from Harare, cross the Zambezi River and return through Botswana and Bulawayo in just 16 days.

Tanya Puncuh is hoping to raise £15,000 to cover costs for the trip

Ms Puncuh, who spent her teens in Zimbabwe, is attempting to raise £15,000 to cover costs of a 4×4 campavan and 2,350 $5 kits made by a mothers’ support group running their own social enterprise.

The kits, made from colourful pieces of fabric to make their use as sanitary items less obvious, are constructed from layers of flannel-like material and can be re-used for around four years.

Many young women living in poverty resort to staying at home for the duration of their menstrual cycle, or use ground leaves or scraps of material in an attempt to stem the flow of blood. Bleeding through makeshift items leads to teasing and being ostracised at school.

Ms Puncuh, who aims to set up Padding Africa as a registered charity this year, said: “Many girls with big dreams drop out of school because of their menstrual cycle.

“We will be distributing these sanitary pad kits and offering menstrual care solutions and health education along the way. Offering access to sanitary towels is a step towards helping them reach their life goals.”

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One comment

  1. How amazing a thought… it reflects such sensitivity… I mean its one of those things that is a part of every woman’s life but how many of us would have thought of it even if we knew about it… and how many of us would have actually gone forward and done something about this…

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