In 2012 social entrepreneur Richard Mabaso overheard a conversation between his mother and niece about menstruation and noticed that there is a lack of understanding in such a regular occurrence. This lead to Richard launching the Caring4Girls initiative, which is managed by the Imbumba Foundation. Caring4Girls is a sanitary towels distribution programme to keep young girls in school during their monthly cycles. The Imbumba Foundation aims to bring social change within South Africa by providing support to poor and rural communities. According to independent studies, most of these girls miss up to 50 days of school per year because they can not afford sanitary towels.
It is Caring4Girls’ mission to achieve the following:
• Reach and support as many poor girls as possible with sanitary towels.
• Create menstrual hygiene awareness through education and training.
• Establish Caring4Girls Advocacy Groups in schools.
• Reduce a high number of school absenteeism and drop-outs caused by menstrual related challenges.
• Holistic development and empowerment of the girl child and the boy child at a later stage.
To raise awareness for Caring4Girls Richard created Trek4Mandela – an annual expedition up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise funds to purchase sanitary towels so that needy girls can go to school when having their menstrual period. Trek4Mandela is used to educate people about Mandela Day and the need to take action beyond 18 July, thereby helping to make every day a Mandela Day.