It is a challenge for many rural girls to access sanitary towels as the economic conditions in rural areas are bit tougher than in the urban areas. It is this kind of economic challenge that drove Grida Valoyi to establish a project that assists rural poverty stricken girls to get sanitary towels for free. Her project Hugs of Hope has its presence in the rural province of Limpopo and has made a difference in many girls’ lives as they can now access sanitary towels, something that was a luxury for them. Others could not go to school when on their menstrual cycle due to lack of sanitary towels.  

“I love a girl child; recently there have been a number of girls who were battling to get access to sanitary towels. It led to a number of girls skipping school during their menstrual circle. My daughter Ndzalama and I had a conversation last year in May on her birthday about the challenge. Her concern was that sanitary towel drives that were available were not covering our area, which was true. A lot of sanitary towels were being distributed but were not enough to cover all areas”, said Grida.


One of the major issues with Hugs of Hope is getting funding to keep the project going and reach more places. Grida says getting people to donate is always a major issue and she went from presentation to presentation in order to get people involved but finally it worked out at the end with some people assisting financially but still needs assistance to keep the project alive and reaching many rural homesteads.


Hugs of Hope is certainly an initiative that has brought hope and happiness to the girls in Venda, Musina and Giyani areas. The initiative depends mostly on Grida Valoyi’s pocket who has financed it from its inception few months ago. For a four month-old project, the achievement by Hugs of Hope is significant and one can certainly hope for greater presence in the future.


I will be happy if the Department of Education can be involved as the reason why we are all out collecting these sanitary towels is for these kids to be able to get access to education with no interruptions”, added Grida.


Grida is of the conviction that government should roll out sanitary towels for free to girls like they are doing with condoms. “Girls are our future, womanhood is beautiful and amazing, and the very same kids that are battling to get access to sanitary towels today are the same kids that will be giving birth to the future leaders of this country. We have to make sure that they are well taken care of and that they are healthy”, she emphasized as she explains more about the purpose of Hugs of Hope.


“This project was more of an eye opener for me. We sit in our comfortable homes, we go out, we spend money on unnecessary things and we forget that there is a girl out there who only needs just R15 in order to purchase a pack of sanitary towels. I look at life differently, the look on those girls when they received the packs was amazingly great, I even shed a tear and thanked God for guiding me on this project and made sure it becomes a success”.


You can also make a difference in the girls’ lives just like Grida and you don’t need to be a millionaire to make a difference. With only R15 you can buy a girl from your neighborhood a basic necessity of sanitary towels.


An inspiring statement from Hugs of Hope reads: “Hugs of Hope is an entity to enable youth and in general women learn from their peers who share the same values of success. It was created because the youth and women need an environment where they can come together and pursue opportunities”.


For contributions in making Hugs of hope a success, contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


By Ntsako Shivambu. – Senior journalist


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