NEWS
13/07/2018 22:44 SAST | Updated 13/07/2018 22:44 SAST

Bikers For Mandela Day Rally To Keep Girls In School

R180-worth of sanitary pads can allow an impoverished girl to stay in school all month, every month for a year. Zelda la Grange and Bikers For Mandela Day are again rallying to the cause.

Zelda la Grange, former private secretary to Nelson Mandela, joins the Bikers For Mandela in Johannesburg while preparing for Mandela Day; July 14 2012. The bikers later drove through South Africa helping with community upliftment and empowerment projects. (Photo by Bongiwe Gumede/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
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Zelda la Grange, former private secretary to Nelson Mandela, joins the Bikers For Mandela in Johannesburg while preparing for Mandela Day; July 14 2012. The bikers later drove through South Africa helping with community upliftment and empowerment projects. (Photo by Bongiwe Gumede/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Bikers from across the country will be rally around the theme "Keep a girl child in school" while celebrating Mandela Day. The aim of Bikers For Mandela Day is to collect sanitary pads for the 3-million girls forced to miss school for several days each month because they cannot afford basic sanitary products.

The initiative was started in 2010 by Zelda la Grange, Nelson Mandela's former private secretary, and aims to celebrate Madiba's legacy by helping girls in disadvantaged communities gain full access to education.

"This year's rides will allow for more bikers to participate in this nine-year-old tradition of having fun while doing good at the same time," la Grange said. "Madiba believed that every small effort counts in bringing about change."

As little as R180 can provide enough sanitary pads to keep one girl in school for an entire year.

Bikers across the country are encouraged to participate by arranging a ride in their own cities, or by joining the mass rallies planned in Cape Town and Johannesburg on Saturday and Sunday.

Participants are expected to bring at least one pack of sanitary pads to contribute to the cause.

"My hope is that all riders of scooter bikes, superbikes and everything with two wheels and an engine will join us to make a massive impact to this cause. As little as R180 can provide enough sanitary pads to keep one girl in school for an entire year. A little can do so much," la Grange said.

Metro FM's Angie Khumalo has been part of Bikers For Mandela Day for the past seven years — and says it has been an honour to be able to participate in "furthering Madiba's legacy of giving your time for the betterment of the community".

"I think we get so bogged down with our own lives that we become desensitised to the plight of the less fortunate. Being able to do that while riding my dream bike, is just a very tasty cherry on top," Khumalo said.

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Bikers For Nelson Mandela Day's maiden journey was undertaken by a group of riders from Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2010. Since then, they've covered more than 100,000km across all provinces, as well as in Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique.