Blush Foundation’s fight against period poverty

Alden Strauss, Lorenzo Hansen, Eaton Cloete and Marius Janse van Rensburg are all set to race in the Nedbank Desert Dash for the Blush Foundation. Photo: contributed

A team of determined individuals are gearing up for a challenge that stretches well beyond the typical test of endurance – the annual Nedbank Desert Dash.

The Blush Foundation team is a group of social cyclists united by their zeal for cycling and a passion to eradicate period poverty in Namibia.

Across Namibia, countless young girls are structurally disenfranchised by their menstrual cycle, a natural occurrence.

In what has been termed ‘period poverty’, these girls lack access to sanitary products, a barrier which often leads to missed schooldays and a stunted education.

Cyclist Alden Strauss (52) says he has witnessed first-hand how small changes could have significant societal shifts.

The team’s objective is therefore to bring equal opportunity and lasting change to the lives of the affected girls.

Through its trustees, including Charlene Hartung and Johnathan Harris, and the teamwork of Strauss and Beatrice Schultz, the Blush Foundation says it is committed to raising awareness and funds to provide sanitary products.

Their approach is hands-on: They raise funds, purchase supplies, and, with the help of community volunteers, ensure that these products reach schools, especially in remote areas, where they are most needed.

The team members are Eaton Cloete, Lorenzo Hansen and Marius Janse van Rensburg, who say they are happy to undertake the Nedbank Desert Dash for a positive cause.

“The dedication required for the Nedbank Desert Dash is, of course, considerable. Our team balances individual training regimes with group preparation to ensure we are ready for the race, from both a nutritional and physical standpoint.

“Our greatest challenge lies in aligning our schedules, but we approach it all in the spirit of teamwork and try our best to meet up,” Strauss says.

Their journey to the starting line has been enabled by a sponsorship from Nedbank, which has a dual significance – to publicise the issue of period poverty in Namibia and to ensure that all their funds raised can flow directly to purchasing sanitary products.

“We are grateful to Nedbank for their support. With this backing, we can keep our focus on the cause, as no girl should see her potential diminished because of a lack of sanitary products,” Strauss says.

“We often forget that the ease with which we purchase sanitary products is a privilege not shared by all. For countless women and girls who cannot afford or access these essentials, their realities are starkly different.

“By raising funds, our foundation joins others like it in the crucial battle to eliminate period poverty. We are immensely thankful for every raffle ticket bought, and every donation made, particularly every N$96 that can provide one girl with a year’s supply of pads, ensuring her education continues uninterrupted,” she says.

For more information, visit www.allthingscharlie.com/theblushfoundation, or contact founder Charlie Hartung at me@allthingscharlie.com.

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