GEMS Symposium 2019

GEMS distributes sanitary towels to girl learners at Thandukwazi Senior Primary School and assists with renovating their ablution facilities

Members of the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) Board of Trustees and Executive Management donated R300 000.00 and sanitary towels to needy school girls of Thandukwazi Senior Primary School in Kwa Mashu, on 04 October 2019.

The donation, part of the Scheme’s corporate social investment, followed a successful two day symposium at the Durban International Convention Centre from the 2nd till 3rd October 2019 where delegates from public and private sector debated and unpacked healthcare issues towards digital first on the road to universal healthcare coverage.

“At GEMS, we always strive to make a meaningful difference and add value in our communities and society. This is

in line with the need to address the developmental issues of the country aligned with the principles of universal healthcare coverage”, says GEMS Chief Operations Officer, Dr Stan Moloabi.

The Scheme delivered the sanitary towels to the girls in need and the R300 000.00 towards the renovation of the ablution facilities to improve learning opportunities. Research by Build Africa reveals the alarming statistics and impact of the lack of sanitary towels has on the girl child retention in schools and completion. On average, the report revealed that of the 80 days allocated to school term, 29.7% of adolescent girls said they miss a minimum of four days per cycle.

The sanitary towel project by GEMS, sets out to ensure school going girls, are enrolled in school, stay in school, perform well and continue to higher institutions of learning. School attendance has shown to have a positive effect on girls' lives, as well as their future. When girls attend school, they are less likely to be the victim of domestic violence.

“On behalf of the School Management Team, School Governing Body, staff members and all of our learners, I would like to thank GEMS for this initiative as it will ensure that our girls remain in school, even during that time of the month. We are also looking forward to the renovation of our ablution facilities that will restore dignity amongst our learners” says School Principal, Mrs Ndaba.