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Project Penya

Project Penya

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The Grow Africa Foundation presents Project Penya

Every day, thousands of teenage girls in rural Africa miss out on their education due to menstruation.

Teenage girls who live in rural regions in Africa experience a 25% drop in school attendance which greatly hinders their education. Many of the girls do not go to school whilst they are menstruating because they have no access to sanitary wear. Even when there is money in the household, sanitary pads are not a priority. Additionally, sanitation in the schools is of a very low standard, which makes it extremely difficult for girls to discard used sanitary pads. One in ten schoolgirls in Africa miss classes or drop out completely due to their period, and substitute regular pads or tampons for less safe and less absorbent materials such as rags, newspaper, or even bark. Project Penya wants to change that.

What is Project Penya about?

The Grow Africa Foundation strongly believes in responsible tourism and leaving a positive impact. This is why are involved with Dingani Primary School, located near our lodge Elephant’s Eye in Hwange, Zimbabwe. We started #ProjectPenya as a female empowerment initiative to help teenage girls with their future. For us, it’s about empowering a generation of women to have equal chances at receiving an education. We will begin by providing girls with a sustainable solution to menstruation, but beyond this, we will host a series of workshops and motivational talks to encourage women that they too can focus on a brighter future!


Why Project Penya?

The word Penya means ‘shine’ in Shona. We are doing exactly that, teaching young ladies to shine! We know that in rural Africa there is a lot of pressure on girls to drop out of school to get married, have babies and take care of their families. We want to instill in the girls that this is not their only option, and they can, in fact, be as successful as boys (even more so!). Because menstruation is a major factor in the completion of school due to lack of access to sanitary items, we hope that by providing the sanitary pads we can make a small step in the right direction of getting girls to successfully complete their schooling.


Subz reusable pads and panties

We are raising money to provide each Gr 6 and 7 girl with Subz Reusable pads and panties.

Subz Pads are eco-friendly, washable pads and panties that can be re-used. The panty is made from 100% cotton, and the pads are made from 5 layers of hydrophilic fabric which clip onto the underwear and does not need to be disposed of. This enables girls to take home their sanitary towels, wash them in the privacy of their own home, and use them again. It is a sustainable (and eco-friendly) solution.

In a South African pilot project, a headmaster recently remarked that after one of his pupils began using the Subz pads her marks improved from 48% to 85% simply because she didn’t have to miss any more school. This is instrumental in gender equality and giving women the same chances while empowering them from an early age!

The pads and panties are handmade by a community project in South Africa which helps to empower women through employment. It seemed only fitting to promote female empowerment not only by keeping the young girls in school, but by supporting the female empowerment projects that make the sanitary items too.

Motivational and Educational Workshops

Together with a qualified health professional, The Grow Africa Foundation will arrange a series of motivational workshops for the girls, their parents, the teachers and the local clinic staff about puberty, sexual health and wellbeing, and career choices.

The girls will receive in-depth information about the changes their body is experiencing, how to deal with it, and why it is important to remain in school. They will also gain exposure to different career opportunities and gain real world experience on a ‘work shadow’ basis. This is not just about providing sanitary pads to school girls, this is about providing education to an entire community and empowering an entire generation of young girls!

How do I get involved?

Through donations, our aim is to purchase a set of Subz panties and pads for all Grade 6 and 7 learners at Dingani Primary School on a sustainable and on-going basis. We will also use donations to fund the motivational workshops for the girls at Dingani Primary.

A set of panties and pads for one girl costs R220, or US$15. We ask our friends and clients to donate just one pair of panties for a girl in need. If you would like to donate more, we would be extremely grateful!

More information about Grow Africa

If you would like more information about The Grow Africa Foundation and our current projects please visit:

Or read up about our previous Dingani Primary School projects here:


  • Sep 04, 2017 - USD $ 16.24
  • "Great project! All the best to the girls!" - Anya

  • Sep 04, 2017 - R 514.10
  • "A great project. Happy to help. " - Jennifer

  • Jun 09, 2017 - USD $ 40.67
  • "Best wishes to these wonderful girls on continuing their education!" - Marie Dieringer

  • Feb 11, 2017 - R 1 028.20
  • "Great initiative!" - Winnie Falkenstein

Donate to this charity


Donations to date

R 6 360.70

Fundraising target

R 6 250.00

Funds raised offline

R 4 082.00

The Grow Africa Foundation

The Grow Africa Foundation Logo

Grow Africa is the responsible tourism initiative started by Jenman African Safaris and Hideaways. The main focus is to make a positive impact on the environment, society and economy in the places we travel to. We do this by supporting local communities, and building environmental and cultural awareness.