For five days, two South African philanthropists will be hiking the Fish River Canyon, dressed in business attire, complete with footwear, with all their survival items stored safely in two accompanying briefcases.
Potchefstroom residents and close friends, Cobus Steenkamp and Eunice van Schalkwyk, have committed to this unconventional journey as a way to raise funds for NPO, Project Dignity, during Women’s Month.
The non-profit extension of Subz Pants and Pads, Project Dignity aims to deliver reusable sanitary pads to disadvantaged schoolgirls across the country.
Cobus and Eunice were introduced to the work done by Project Dignity after attending an activation at one of the local schools.
Inspired by the simplicity and brilliance of the concept, the two decided to organise a unique fundraising initiative to assist.
“The sad truth is that millions of girls in South Africa are not getting the education so desperately needed. These girls are missing approximately five days of school every month because they cannot afford to buy sanitary pads. This amounts to 60 missed school days a year,” said Cobus.
In addition to the impact on education, health and dignity are affected as young girls resort to using less safe and less absorbent materials such as rags, newspaper, leaves or even bark.
Cobus, a lecturer in police practice, and Eunice, an environmental scientist, have undertaken a number of fundraisers individually, but the Fish River Canyon hike will be their first joint venture.
Commenting on the project, Eunice said, “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.”
She said that, as responsible citizens, they felt it was their duty to bring the plight of young women to the attention of the private sector and government.
Sue Barnes, founder of Subz Pants and Pads and Project Dignity, extended her heartfelt thanks to Cobus and Eunice for embarking on this brave adventure.
“To hike the Fish River Canyon in full corporate gear, with nothing but two briefcases of supplies, takes determination and strength of character,” she said.
The pair will hike roughly 90 kilometres in five days in the hopes of raising some R230, 000. This translates into 1000 packs of Subz Pants and Pads, consisting of sanitary wear, with each pack able to last one young woman up to five years.
The fundraising will be done through the Do It 4 Charity site, with donations welcomed via www.subzpads.co.za/donate-now/ or via EFT to:
First National Bank
Account No: 6249 4489 646
Branch Code: 250655
Swift Code: firnzajj
For more information regarding the Fish River Challenge, contact Cobus Steenkamp on 079-184-2268 or Eunice van Schalkwyk at 072-967-4804.
Project Dignity offers companies and individuals with many opportunities to support those in need with reusable Subz Pants and Pads donations.
Visit the website www.projectdignity.org.za for more information about the work being done to help uplift and empower South African girls.