Kya Sands Girls Pads Project
The 1st Girls Project took place at Kya Sands which is an informal settlement.
Kya Sands is bisected by the North Riding Stream or Kya Sand spurt, It is closely bordered by the Kya Sand industrial area to the west, the Bloubosrand residential suburb to the east, the Hoogland industrial area to the south (separated by the old Randburg landfill site) and mostly small holdings to the north.
The settlement occupies both private and government-owned land, lying on 6 different farm and agricultural holdings. The privately owned sections of the settlement lies on the western side of the stream. City of Johannesburg owned land includes sections immediately adjacent to the stream and the property containing the old Randburg Landfill site. Portion 51 of the same farm (Houtkoppen I93-IQ), on which a large portion of the settlement lies, is owned by South African National Government and administered by the Gauteng Provincial Government.
Kya Sands gets its name from the adjacent industrial area, Kya Sand. Other popular names for the settlement include Dumping and Kya Centre. The settlement is also referred to as Kya Sand, Phomolong and Kya Junction by some residents.
Kya Sands is made up of a number of sections. The settlement is broken down firstly into Sections A to D. These are defined by government and are used in counting and numbering houses and toilets in the settlement.
Other sections include Pipeline, the whole section of the settlement east of the river, and Madala Side, the northern part of Pipeline While the exact year of the settlement's formation is disputed, indications are that it started in the early 1990s. Informal houses were initially set up in the area by subcontractors working at the adjacent (now closed) Randburg Landfill site and the Kya Sand and Hoogland industrial areas.
The area has a mixture of the foreign nationalities and the Local south African coming out of the different rural parts of South Africa. Here some victims of xenophobia are found to reside.
Girls Alive Africa Foundation Being an NPO that chooses to focus on Girls and women. The organization chose to focus its projects in informal settlements as a result of seeing and interacting with women and girls that live in informal settlements. It is in these communities that we find some of the most under privileged people. The girls are exposed to danger and unsafe conditions when having their Menstruation due to the overcrowding and the conditions found in the settlements. Some girls because of the poverty that they find themselves in do not attend school when they are on their menstruation.
Hence the quest for GAAF to work in informal settlements to try and help provide the girls with sanitary towel and menstrual hygiene management education. This includes knowledge on the different sanitary options that the girls can use, how to use the option and manage hygiene concerns around them, how to dispose of the sanitary options after using it as this is very important considering the environmental hazards posed by overcrowding in such communities. In addition to the above, we look at other topics like what having a menstruation cycle means the different reproductive systems of both girls and boys. The taboos and norms related to menstruation within our communities. The aim of the organization is to empower the Girl child and Women around issues on menstruation. The organization was able to assist 30 girls with a supply of 2 months Pads.
It really was a great pleasure seeing the smiles on the girls faces and knowing what it meant to them. As an organization it is our aim to reach out to more girls within Kya Sands and other informal settlements in the Gauteng region.