5 Minutes With Karabo

What’s your passion?

Human rights issues – at the moment dealing with girls who are missing school because of their menstruation and media and communications – I was a journalist, so I like to respond to critical news issues and engage with media houses through social media.

What change are you keen to drive?

School dropout rates, girl child health issues and breaking stereotypes that surround menstruation. Bringing back dignity and encouraging girls to stay in school.

How are you driving change?

Encouraged by a story I read on Ground Up about a girl who didn’t have money for pads and had to use rags and newspaper. I realised that I needed to start making a change. We did research within the community on why girls were dropping out of school and work and found out that for many of them it was because of their menstruation. They would be too embarrassed to go to school or work.

In January, we started the Sanitary Pads Campaign to raise awareness – we provide sanitary pads to learners and people in the community.

We also work with young people and have separate round table discussions with girls and boys and talk about issues affecting them, health issues like menstruation and stereotypes. With boys we make them understand why girls have to go through the menstruation process. We then put the two groups together so that they can engage with each other.

We want the youth to influence policymakers and ensure that pads are available in schools like condoms are.

How has ACTIVATE! supported you so far in driving this change?

Supporting me, giving me information on how to open an organisation, drafting proposals and constitutions. We want to partner with other Activators who are also involved in our cause and start a national organisation.

How do you motivate yourself?

Because I am a man, born to a woman that motivates me. My friends also motivate me and to see young woman standing up for themselves.

Final comment?

We as the Sanitary Campaign feel that the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, must motivate government to speed the process and add more manpower to addressing the issue. But we want the government to focus on this serious issue 365 days of the year and not only for 16.

We want the government and policy makers to engage and involve young people when they make decisions. More money should be given to gender-based violence awareness and it should start in schools.

To raise awareness we are going to take pads and paste them on walls in communities that have high numbers of gender-based violence with messages to highlight the issue and to get people to talk about the issue of gender-based violence and menstruation.

PROVINCE: Western Cape


Activator since: 2012




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