Caring4Girls and the Imbumba Foundation


This expedition was established in 2012 when Richard Mabaso, Chief Executive Officer of the Imbumba Foundation, overheard a fearful conversation between his mom and niece about puberty. Richard invited his friend Sibusiso Vilane, the first black person in the world to conquer the Three Poles Challenge (reaching the South Pole, North Pole and Mount Everest), to lead him on his first expedition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

The objectives of the climb were to:

  • Create awareness about the challenges facing impoverished girls in rural and poor schools during their monthly cycles
  • Raise funds to purchase sanitary towels so that needy girls can go to school when having their menstrual period
  • Educate people about Mandela Day and the need to take action beyond 18 July, thereby helping to make every day a Mandela Day.


Caring4Girls is a programme that distributes sanitary towels to make sure that young girls can go to school during their menstrual period. The programme focuses on creating awareness about puberty and adolescence, and, in the process, demystify all menstrual myths.

The programme was started in 2012 after Richard Mabaso, the concept innovator, overheard a fearful conversation between his mom and his niece about menstruation, which to this day is deemed taboo by many societies. Richard then took it upon himself to establish a historic climb for dignity named the Trek4Mandela expedition.

An emotive poem about empowering women in South Africa. Written and performed by Charlotte Buhle


“I feel confident and comfortable with the sanitary towels that they’ve given me because my parents didn’t have enough money to buy them for me.” - Philisiwe Mona, Grade 11 learner, Sidungeni High School, Mpumalanga province

“As a school that is situated in a previously disadvantaged community in a rural area, our school experiences lots of problems when it comes to girls getting their period. Sometimes they’d be afraid to come and ask for pads, so therefore we are very grateful for this programme.” - Mrs Gladys Simelane, Life Orientation teacher, Sidungeni High School, Mpumalanga province

 “It has taught me to be myself and also to be proud of being a woman because we’re being taught about a lot of stuff, especially what goes on in our bodies and also in our lives as young girls.” - Matshidiso Khalane, Grade 11 learner, Sondelani Combined School, KwaZulu-Natal province

 “The programme has helped us as girls to develop, know ourselves and also be proud of being a woman and embarking on this stage of womanhood. I started my periods before Caring4Girls programme came to our school and I used to get worried when I saw pimples on my face, but all of the fears I had disappeared when we started getting puberty education through the Caring4Girls booklet.” - Charlotte Sibiya, 17 years old, Grade 12 learner, Sidungeni High School, Mpumalanga province

 “I joined the Caring4Girls programme in 2012, when I was doing Grade 8 at Sidungeni High School, and it has been an exciting journey so far. The programme has helped me and my peers a lot because we can now go to school and attend classes with pride and full confidence. Before the programme we used to have inappropriate sanitary protection, which was not cool because it seemed like everyone was looking at you and knowing what you were going through. What I like the most about the programme is the PAD campaign (an acronym for puberty and adolescence demystified), because there were lots of myths surrounding menstruation." - Fortunate Mlambo, Grade 10, Sidungeni High School, Mpumalanga province

Poem about Nelson Mandela by Bianca, a Grade 12 learner and Caring4Girls beneficiary

Background of the Imbumba Foundation

Imbumba is an African bean seed that germinates and multiplies when it is planted and properly taken care of. In the same way, the Imbumba Foundation seeks to invest in young people who are willing to take it upon themselves to change their lives and inspire others with their stories.

It is a not-for-profit organisation that was established in 2010 by Richard Mabaso.

Our strategic intent

The Imbumba Foundation aims to bring social change within South Africa through providing support to poor and rural communities. Where determined people have proved their desire to improve the lives of the least fortunate in their society, the foundation provides funding and facilities to help them expand their influence and effectiveness.

We deliver on our overall strategic intent by ensuring that we are on the leading edge of pioneering social innovations that help governments, businesses and communities to work together, thus creating effective public-private-partnerships.

Since 2011, the foundation has reached and touched over 100 000 young people’s lives through its programmes. Through the Vision20/20 Challenge initiative, the foundation is on a mission to support over two-million girls and boys in helping them realise their dreams by giving them access to education.  It’s like Madiba said, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” We believe that through education, South Africa, Africa and the world can be a better place to live in.


This is the youth leadership programme that supports the Caring4Girls programme. Once beneficiaries have been through various stages of the initiative, Vision20/20 is used as a platform to ensure that that they develop much needed leadership skills and are engaged in programmes that expose them to various careers or tertiary education. 


Trek4Mandela - Info and Training

Trek4Mandela - Itinerary