Gugulethu Dlodlo, the face behind Igugulethu Foundation has made strides in Matebeleland provinces with the #padAGirl campaign targeting to reduce menstrual poverty among adolescents in vulnerable communities.
In an interview with 263Chat, Dlodlo said she aims to eradicate poverty by donating clothes, food and sanitary wear to children aged 10-17 (both genders).
“During my attachment, we used to have a lot of field works in deep rural areas, that’s when I noticed that there are children who are indeed living in extreme poverty. I’m also a firm believer who believes that ‘faith without works is dead. It won’t be a blessing to worship and sit comfortably at church when you’re fully aware that there’s a child who’s bare because they’ve nothing to wear and have no food to eat,” said Dlodlo.
Dlodlo hails from Plumtree, Tekwane in Bulilima district and is a final year student at Lupane state university studying towards a Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree in languages and communication.
She is also an entrepreneur, Adolescent Girls and Young Women’s advocate working with DAWA (Development Agenda for Women and Girls in Africa) as well as the founder of Igugulethu Foundation which was formed in October last year.
Dlodlo said her greatest inspiration is her parents who made her believe that being able to help others is a great feeling.
“My parents are my biggest source of inspiration and also strongest supporters as well. When I see my parents working, it gives me the drive to be like them. Their dedication to working is what motivates me to be like them. They are self-motivated individuals. Hence I try to imbibe their positivism into my life. My father is one of the strictest yet most loving father. My mother is the source of calm confidence. Knowing exactly where to push hard and where to slow down is something I have imbibed from her. They remain, my go-to people, when I feel under the weather or less motivated,” added Dlodlo.
Dlodlo started the #padAGirl campaign together with Loveness Jere (Director Loveness student at Catholic University of Zimbabwe), Roseline Musekiwa (Miss Glamour 2021 and Miss Model Mediterranean Global Zimbabwe 2022, Media Student from Lupane State University), Natasha Mthethwa (student nurse and representative of Padup Private company and Nozintombi Nyathi (Student from Lupane State University)
“We targeted to raise 500 pads. By the grace of God, we managed to raise 400 and distributed 42 at Home of peace in Bulawayo orphanage homes in Thorngroove. We are yet to donate some in Plumtree this week, Nkayi, and Insiza district.
Dlodlo urged the government to implement more measures targeted at vulnerable young people.
“The National Child Care Implementation Plan is a positive step towards ensuring that children’s rights are realized. Which is great. So I feel like they’re trying, the problem is they take steps but they don’t implement them. Great initiatives without implementation equal to nothing,” said Dlodlo.