Two South African philanthropists are gearing up to take on the world’s oldest and second largest canyon in the hope of raising R230 000 for sanitary pads for girls.
Dressed in business attire – complete with footwear – with all their survival items stored safely in two accompanying briefcases, Cobus Steenkamp and Eunice van Schalkwyk will hike the Fish River Canyon in Namibia on Tuesday.
The pair will hike about 90km over five days to raise money for NPO, Project Dignity, which aims to deliver reusable sanitary pads to disadvantaged schoolgirls across the country.
Steenkamp is a lecturer in police practice at North-West University Potchefstroom, and Van Schalkwyk works as an environmental scientist. Van Schalkwyk said the statistics of girls missing school drove them do the hike. According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, one in 10 girls in sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their period while others lose 20% of their education making them more likely to drop out of school.
“Both of us feel strongly that education is the key to a better future, not just for the individual, but for our country as a whole. We specifically wanted to do something that will help girls as, most often, it’s them making the most sacrifices. This is why we decided to do our hike during August, Women’s Month, particularly over Women’s Day on August 9,” Van Schalkwyk said.
Founder of Subz Pants and Pads and Project Dignity, Sue Barnes, said the initiative would make a difference in the lives of many girls.
“To hike the Fish River Canyon in full corporate gear, with nothing but two briefcases of supplies, takes determination and strength of character.
“For Cobus and Eunice to be doing this on behalf of Project Dignity, knowing the difference it will make in so many young lives, is truly worth celebrating.
“I urge everyone to get behind these two,” Barnes said.
Donate at www.subzpads.co.za/donate-now/