Joining a panel of empowering female speakers, Sue Barnes, founder of Subz Pants and Pads – and its NPO, Project Dignity – will address the educational challenges faced by thousands of schoolgirls daily, because of a lack of access to sanitary wear. This will form part of the inaugural Women’s Wellness Day @ Sage on Women’s Day, 9 August in Salt Rock.
“Sage Centre has a predominately female demographic and the majority of the centre’s businesses are women-owned,” said Lara Warr, Centre Manager. “With this in mind, we want to host a Women’s Day event that celebrates women and their wellness. Knowing Sue Barnes and the wonderful work she is doing with Subz Pants and Pads, we decided that we would like to support this organisation which focuses primarily on women’s health and education.”
Barnes, a KwaZulu-Natal resident with a background in food technology and fashion design, was concerned about the difficulties young women in impoverished communities faced every month. A lack of funds for sanitary wear meant thousands of young women were missing up to a week of school monthly, costing them in vital classroom time and setting their education back profoundly.
She was driven to find a solution to the problem, one that was both economically viable and environmentally sustainable, so she set about designing a reusable sanitary pad and clip-on panty. In 2010, Subz Pants and Pads was established, followed by the non-profit extension, Project Dignity, which provides sponsored packs of pads to schoolgirls across the country and beyond its borders. Every school or community activation includes donations of packs and is accompanied by an open, educational talk on young women’s health and wellbeing.
The five-year longevity of the product means that a girl entering Grade 8 will be able to use the same Subz pack throughout high school. There is no need for monthly donations, or massive storage space on school premises to hold all the products. However, pack donations are not restricted to high school settings, but given wherever there is a need.
To date, more than 140 000 packs of Subz Pants and Pads have been donated, although the list of needy recipients continues to grow. Through private and corporate sponsorship, Sue and her team are able to meet some of the need, positively impacting these women by addressing a societal gap that has kept them back unnecessarily.
“We are so grateful to Lara Warr and the rest of the team at Sage Centre for giving us this platform to discuss the work being done by Project Dignity,” said Sue Barnes. “Women’s wellness and wellbeing are so important and often overlooked, so it’s really wonderful that they are using this Women’s Day to highlight the need to care for both ourselves, and the women in our communities.”
Anyone is welcome to attend Women’s Wellness Day @ Sage at Sage Centre and learn more about Project Dignity’s work. The cost is a donation of R24.50 for a single Subz Sanitary Pad or R200 for a Subz pack which will be donated to the schoolgirls at Sizani Primary School in Salt Rock. Alongside the talks, there will be an open market with traders selling gorgeous product for women including clothing, jewellery, natural oils, crystals, and active wear, among others. The centre will also celebrate the opening of the Open Studio, a centre for yoga, Pilates, meditation, dance and other wellness activities.
The Women’s Wellness Day @ Sage is:
8.15am to 9am: Helen Garner Yoga
9.15am to 10am: ‘Nurturing your Vagina and How to Kegel Correctly’ with physiotherapist, Candice Langford
10.15am to 11am: Pilates with Kaylee Kinetics
11.15am to 12.pm: Sue Barnes talk on Subz Pants and Pads
Break to eat, drink and shop
1pm – 1.30pm: Sarah Elizabeth talk on ‘I Beat the Bounce… What’s Your Super Power? Sports’ Bras Explained and How to Eradicate the Dreaded Bounce’
1.30pm – 2.30pm: Essential oil workshop with Penny Slein
To support Project Dignity or find out more, visit:
Facebook: Project Dignity