#keepourgirlsinschool: A Pad Drive

I was trolling Instagram and not double tapping on anything, because I only had “look but don’t touch” data, when I came across a poster put up by a friend of mine about a pad drive, and so begins the tale of how Siphumelele Chagwe became a little more than a Facebook activist.

After realising that we had two weeks to get as many pads as possible, because we said we would, we jumped right in and started our mainly social media audience based #keepourgirlsinschool campaign. Wow!

After posting the initial update on my personal Facebook page and getting 11 shares in 20minutes but no inboxes from people who wanted to donate, I realised that I was also that guy. Always the first to share and punt social causes or a friends new business or venture without actually putting myself on the line. I was on the line now, there was something that I cared about that I wanted people to care about too but I just didn’t know how to make them care!

Oh no.

Our first donation was from a friend of the magazine who stays in Cape Town and she was so eager she inboxed me immediately and then sent in her donation via ewallet.

She obviously had the keys because after that I started getting messages from friends and family wanting to support in any way possible. There was hope!

Transportation arragments, drop off points, monitary donations and some great deals from Dischem, Smart-sentials online grocery store and the support of Pussy Party (where we collected a R900 donation) and we have managed to collect 162 pads!!! Without going to big corporations and just using the connections around us we actually pulled it off. Who would have thought! I, for one, generally shy away from “doing things” because of my crippling anxiety enducing fear of failure but being on this side of “be the change you want to see in the world” feels pretty good.

The entire Black Girl Fat Girl team would like to thank every single person who donated their time, support, money and actual pads to the drive. We had friends picking up and dropping off pads all over Johannesburg, siyabonga. It’s so beautiful to know that there are people who, like us, want more from the world we live in and are willing to work towards that.

This is our first and NOT our last drive, some would say “watch this space”. We look forward to doing a lot more for the women around us and we’re glad we have all this support. We got to see some footage from some of the deliveries to schools and we can’t wait to share that with you all, but for now, the pad drive is running till the end of the month so get in contact with us so you can donate and also be a human who is the change they want to see in the world. 

With that said, I am obviously capable of running campaigns and I’ll probably be putting that on my CV.

“Could possibly get some stuff done”


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