Christ Embassy Southern Africa donated 240 pads towards the Harare Junior Council million pads campaign on Tuesday 5 December 2017.

Speaking during the handover ceremony held at Town House, Stane Bere from Christ Embassy Southern Africa, Hagar Cell Group, said the donation was in line with the commemoration of the birthday of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome the founder of Christ Embassy.

“We are taking this opportunity to donate 240 sanitary pads as we are celebrating the birthday of our dear Man of God Pastor Chris dubbed #offer7. He encouraged us to give, donate services and to help communities around us”, he said

Ruvarashe Kadzvitsi gave a brief presentation on the million pads campaign an initiative being spear-headed by the Harare City Junior Council Project Coordinator.

“The million pads campaign, an initiative to raise sanitary wear for girls which was initially targeted for Harare girls started with selling of raffle draw tickets in the central business district and Avondale, then the launch of the padathon in August 2017, and company visitations seeking donations in cash and kind (sic)”, she said.

The million pad campaign was launched in April 2017 and it will be running till April 2018 and to date 3904 pads have been collected.

Michael Chideme, Communications Manager at Harare City Council, thanked the Junior Councillors for coming up with a noble initiative to help the less privileged girls.

“Thank you so much Junior Council, for doing a campaign that other people would not likely do because of the taboos surrounding campaign for sanitary wear. Thank you for not just thinking about Harare but the whole country. This is actually national leadership shown by Harare Junior Council because they are seeing the gaps where need is due in Zimbabwe”, he said.

Chideme also thanked Christ Embassy for assisting towards the million pads campaign.

“Thank you so much for the donation it will go a long way and I am very sure that since Pastor Chris said do not give him presents on his birthday, but give to the needy, I am sure other members of your congregation will add more to what you have given us today, thank you so much”,

“We also have children in primary schools grade six and seven’s, who need sanitary wear. We need to extend our hand and as the church you can actually extend the hand to primary schools so that we build the confidence of our youngsters whilst they are in schools. There is nothing that destroys the confidence of a young lady than the lack of sanitary wear when it’s that time of the month, so we need to assist our girl child in any possible ways, “he said.

Chideme also invited individuals and the corporate world to support in the million pads campaign.

“Our campaign will not be enough with pads, we will need transport money to take these pads across different parts of the country and also money to do outreach programs to communities like Rushinga, we still have a long way to go, he said.

According to a 2015 survey, 67% of rural girls and women use rags, cow dung, newspapers and leaves during their menstrual cycles, and 44% of rural shops do not sell any sanitary wear at all. This affects the learning of rural girls as they do not go to school during their periods.

Tinotenda Chimbindi, Town Clerk for Harare Junior council said that as Junior Council they are trying their best as young people to reach out the disadvantaged girls.

“We saw that as young adults, we can actually do something to help our sisters, hence we are doing this campaign to bridge the gaps we actually feel are in our societies.

“Initially we only focused on Harare but later incorporated other parts of Zimbabwe. In some rural areas, some do not have access to clean water, so at the end of the day they end up using dirty cloths which cause diseases which are dangerous to the reproductive health system and at the end of the day is a burden to us as society which we can improve”.

“We are not raising awareness in words but awareness in action, so that by the end of the day, if any organisation wants to partner with us we have tangible results to show them”, he said.

Christ Embassy promised to work with the Junior Council in their million pad campaign.

“We saw another opportunity to partner with the Junior Councillors in distributing pads, we have our own campaign Reach out Zimbabwe, so as they will be distributing the sanitary pads to girls, they will also be receiving the word of God through our Rhapsody of Realities books”, said Bere.