By Kopano Dibakwane
The Pink Flower Foundation is a newly registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) in Sabie, spearheaded by proud local resident, Hope Moropa-Mhlongo.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Monash – Johannesburg. Mrs Mhlongo has worked for THALEDA in Sabie, GVPM Management Consulting in Witbank, the Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism and Mondi Business Paper in Nelspruit.
Mrs Mhlongo established the community-driven initiative alongside her husband, Dr Mhlongo, and colleague, Bianca Mnisi, with the aim to provide practical solutions in tackling pressing issues faced by local young girls.
The Pink Flower Foundation was officially launched on 15th June, inside the La Boulangerie restaurant-Sabie. Young girls from two local primary schools, Harmony Hill and Lindani, were invited alongside their teachers, to render poems and receive sanitary pads. Other guests included representatives from Sabie Hospital, Standard Bank, ABSA, TCLM to name but a few.
Moropa-Mhlongo thanked the guests for honouring the invite, as it signalled a commitment from the community.
“I sat down with my husband and decided to do something, as a way to give back to the community. We realised that young girls face a problem with lack of sanitary wear. We found out that Harmony Hill and Lindani are facing a huge challenge that leads to girls missing one week of school in a month. We opened a monthly savings account for the girls; so far we have raised 700 packets of sanitary pads. 100 packets were donated by Letitia De Wet from Van Heerden’s Pharmacy. I believe that the confidence of a woman starts with the self-belief of a young girl,” said Moropa- Mhlongo.
Olga Wallace-Ground added her message of support to Hope and the entire Pink Flower Foundation. She also thanked Hope’s parents – Mr and Mrs Moropa, York Timber, the two invited primary schools, Sabie Hospital, friends and family, for the support.
“I appreciate this brilliant initiative. Young girls stay away from school because they lack sanitary pads, this is very degrading. No girl should go through this process. I see this initiative going world-wide. The same girls you are helping today will make a difference tomorrow. Dr Mhlongo and his wife have planted a seed. We thank God and we know He will help this journey to blossom.” Said Wallace-Ground.
The Pink Flower Foundation aims to create a strong support system in each school for young girls, encourage schooling through various programmes, forge relations with the public and private sector in raising funds for sanitary pads, provide information on career paths and exposure to the work environment.
“The money we raise does not belong to us, it belongs to the girls. We can’t do this alone; we welcome any assistance from the community. People are welcome to donate pads,” said Moropa-Mhlongo.
The sponsors were thanked by Moropa-Mhlongo for supporting and contributing towards the initiative.