The Blush Foundation to take on desert dash to raise funds for its sanitary towel project
The Blush Foundation, one of the cycling charity teams sponsored by Nedbank Namibia for the Nedbank Desert Dash, will ride this year’s Dash to raise funds for its sanitary towel project.
As a result of poverty, many young women don’t have the means to buy sanitary pads, so they end up using alternative means to manage their monthly cycle; this often results in many girls being absent from school. To date, the project has bought over 15,000 packets of sanitary towels and distributed them in Swakopmund, Henties Bay, Uis, Usakos, Omaruru, Rehoboth, Aus, and rural areas in Erongo Region.
The foundation, which was founded by Charlene Hartung, is the CSI arm of All Things Charlie, an online blog geared at empowering women from all walks of life. According to Hartung, “‘Charlie’ means ‘strong man, aka ‘strong woman, as women wear many hats or have to fully encompass various roles to make their lives work 100 percent. The name represents the notion that these are real women and professionals supporting each other and building a community. We believe that it is only when we move together in support of each other that they successfully move forward in life,” said Hartung.
Elaborating on what use of the proceeds will be raised, Hartung says, “The sponsorship of the dash entry will be used for fundraising for the Blush Foundation. One of our projects is called The Sanitary Towel Project, which was established to raise funds to procure sanitary towels, which we then hand out to underprivileged school going girls around Namibia,” says Hartung.
The Blush Foundation’s cycling team is made up of three male cyclists and one female cyclist. In terms of expectations concerning the team’s performance, Hartung says the most important goal for them is to finish the race. “Just by finishing the race, we will be able to raise funds per km cycled, which will be used to buy the sanitary towels.”
Hartung says the Sanitary Towel Project will also partner with other projects for the distribution of the pads and will use the opportunity to also promote an education drive to share menstrual health information with young girls and boys.
“We also plan to run a campaign to encourage the public and businesses to sponsor our riders per km cycled to bring awareness to the cause.”
Speaking about the bank’s support for various charities riding in the Nedbank Desert Dash this year, Nedbank Namibia PR and Communications Manager, Selma Kaulinge said “Nedbank is extremely proud that charities can use the Dash platform to shine a light on various social issues. We have now seen that the Dash has become so much more than just a sporting event. We wish all the teams taking part in this year’s Nedbank Desert Dash the best of luck and safe riding”.
Other sponsors of the All Things Charlie team include, Erongo Marine Enterprises, JM Recovery Services CC, and Ocean View Shell in Swakopmund. The money donated was used to cover costs including cycling kits, supplements, diesel fuel, as well as support vehicles.
The Nedbank Desert Dash is expected to take place on 9 to 10 December, with more than 900 cyclists expected to take part in the 24-hour, 393-km race from Windhoek to Swakopmund.
From left: Antony Drotsky, Andre Diergaardt, Alden Strauss, and Rene Strauss