SPAR supports local non-profit in the fight against period poverty

By entering the SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge 2022, participants will make a meaningful contribution to the lives of young girls. SPAR, in partnership with other charities, continue to donate packs of sanitary pads to help keep girls in school.

The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge has joined the fight to end period poverty in South Africa by supporting local non-profits organisations that advocate for a shame-free education for young girls.

Creating awareness and contributing to elevating period poverty has been an integral part of the Virtual Challenge over the past two years. A pack of sanitary is donated towards SPAR Petals Project for every entry to the event. The entries for last year’s event and individual donations enabled SPAR to donate 110 000 sanitary packets towards the Petals Project. Click here to enter the challenge

SPAR South Rand donated a portion of the sanitary pads collected for the Petals Project from the 2021 event to Daveyton-based non-profit organisation, Ubuntu Social Club. Ubuntu Social Club has identified the need for sanitary pads among 150 girls at the Sazakhela Primary School in Barcelona, Etwatwa. The donation also coincided with International Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May, which, among many aims, raises awareness about the challenges regarding access to menstrual products, education about menstruation and period-friendly sanitation facilities.

Ubuntu Social Club chairperson Itireleng Sepula said the donation would provide the girls of the school with sanitary pads on a regular basis for the next six to seven months.

“This will be a welcome relief to those girls who have the problem of not being able to afford sanitary pads. It will also ensure that a girl child at this school never has to miss a school day due to not having a sanitary pad,” said Sepula.“This will erase the stigma associated with a girl on her period and fear of the community. The girl child will once again gain her confidence and self-esteem.”

The Ubuntu Social Club was formed in 2019 by five individuals who saw many needs within their community and decided to serve others in the spirit of Ubuntu. The non-profit organisation tackled different socio-economic issues, including period poverty, through sanitary towel drives, while they have also launched a feeding scheme for children and people within the community. The Ubuntu Social Club serves disadvantaged communities in Chris Hani and Etwatwa and the Sazakhela Primary School.

SPAR has used the Virtual Challenge as a vehicle to address some of the most pressing issues that affect South African women. Annual campaigns such as #IRISE, SPAR hopes to not only empower women through community building but also tackle the challenges they face daily, like period poverty and gender-based violence.

It is estimated that 30 percent of South African girls do not go to school while on their period because sanitary products are inaccessible or not affordable due to their circumstances. There is also a stigma and shame attached to their menstrual cycle for many young girls in South Africa. Due to the lack of access to simple hygiene products, they must decide between embarrassment or education. The frequency of period-related mishaps increases when girls do not have access to the proper sanitary products. Many lack access to period products out of fear of others ignoring or ridiculing them.

“Something as simple as sanitary pads that some women take for granted could mean the difference between rising above adversity or being stuck in the poverty trap,” said Marlene Gunther – Sponsorship Controller, SPAR South Rand

.“Every girl has a right to an education which serves as a springboard out of poverty and into a world of possibilities. SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge has continued with the SPAR Petals project due to the immense demand for sanitary pads in underserved communities.”

By entering the SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge 2022, participants will make a meaningful contribution to the lives of young girls. SPAR, in partnership with other charities, continue to donate packs of sanitary pads to help keep girls in school.

This year’s theme, captured through the hashtag #iRISE, is a celebration of how South African women conquer their challenges. The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge 2022 encourages all participants to harness their power, adopt the #iRISE philosophy and become part of a collaborative community that collectively rises above their challenges.

Entry to the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is R60, and as part of the entry fee, every participant will receive a virtual race pack. The race pack includes an official virtual challenge t-shirt, access to the My Virtual Challenge digital magazine, a face buff and a medal.

This year there are even more ways to join in the fun online. Participants can visit the official race website, to generate their race number and finish line certificate – perfect for pre and post-race selfies! Use #iRISE and #SPARVirtualChallenge when posting to join the challenge community online!

For more information and to find out how to enter, visit Entries are limited to 75 000 participants – enter now to avoid disappointment.


Date: 3 September 2022

Time: 06h00 – 18h00 (subject to current lockdown restrictions)

Location: Virtual Event (participants can select own route and distance)


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