It was done to address the national crisis girls missing school because of the cost of sanitary wear.

In 2010, KwaZulu-Natal resident, Sue Barnes, established the country s first reusable sanitary pad and panty, Subz Pants and Pads.

Nine years later, studies show that Project Dignity – the non-profit extension disseminating sponsored Subz packs to disadvantaged schoolgirls, is having a positive impact on school attendance.

In the first two terms of 2019, three schools in KwaZulu-Natal, which had previously received Subz packs, were visited and questionnaires were handed out to the girls.

The schools visited were Sidelile High School on the South Coast, Ubuhle Bemfundo High School in KwaDabeka and Woodlands Primary School in Pietermaritzburg.

Through individual and corporate sponsorship, Project Dignity has distributed thousands of packs of Subz Pants and Pads to schoolgirls, aged 10 to 19 years, across South Africa and beyond the border.

Alongside the distribution, school activations educate the young women about sexual and reproductive health, personal hygiene and caring for the product.

“We are grateful for the support of all the sponsors that have enabled us to disseminate the product which aims to address high dropout rates at schools,” said Subz and Project Dignity founder, Barnes.

In the past few months we reached 7 939 girls in KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape in 60 schools,” she said.

Commenting on its support for Project Dignity and the importance of such research, Tessa Schoeman of Ipsos Global said, “We are pleased to be able to support Project Dignity through the foundation.

“A number of communities have been assisted. While it is reassuring to see that communities are starting to embrace eco-friendly and cost-effective products, it is also clear that this will only happen through continued education to address the stigma still surrounding menstruation.

“The role of community health workers and educators are invaluable to achieve this. To support Project Dignity or find out more, visit: www.projectdignity.co.za (Twitter: @dignityforwomen (Facebook: Project Dignity