The rewards of helping others to live better are a legacy which Debra Botolo is sharing with her colleagues, family and the young women of her community.

Meet Debra Botolo, the mom of three who grew up in Bethanie, Brits and is an Assistant Branch Manager at Capitec. Taking the lead from the bank’s Employee Volunteer Programme, she started her #SheNeedsItToo project and has become another proud Capitec Bank Hero.

Capitec staff each get the opportunity to take three days off work annually to volunteer where it’s needed most in their communities. The bank takes it a step further by doubling up whatever the employee donates too.  

“With me having girls around the house, I decided that I would take the route to donate sanitary towels to girls. So I identified a school and went and donated there as a once-off,” shares Debra.   

The one-off donation of toiletries and sanitary towels quickly grew into her own campaign to provide ongoing toiletries to the girls of Dimapo Primary School.

“I started to interact with the girls and realised there was a need. One lady stood out when sharing her story and told me that she never had pads in her life. Before she was using school socks and sometimes wouldn’t go to school when it’s the first three days of her period. I was so shattered hearing that, that I just decided I’m not going to stop,” says Debra.   

Leslie Malao, Principle of Dimapo Primary School, sheds light on the challenges faced by his learners.  

He explains, “Kids in the city don’t know what the kids at our school are going through. What they take for granted, for these kids are a means of survival. Most of them battle with day-to-day basic needs so things like pads come as secondary things to them.”

Young learner Katlego shares what the support has meant for her.

“Debra handing out this package is amazing and it shows me that there are people out there who are really caring and loving.” 

Debra’s mother has always been her hero, encouraging her to become the better version of herself and that legacy continues with her  daughters, Naledi, Keorapetse & Palesa who assist her in putting the care packs together.

“In the beginning they were reluctant but I wanted to take them with me every time and have them give out the pads. Naledi was so shy and wanted to hide at first, but now they are so excited and feel they are making a difference in the community,” says  the proud mom who’s proving to her girls that giving a little can go a long way.   

“My girls have now learnt the importance of giving back. They now have learnt that it’s very important to share whatever it is you have with someone else in need.”

Growing up as an only daughter with five brothers, Debra is acutely aware of the need to help young girls navigate adolescence.

“I would like to leave a legacy of giving back. I would like to change the mindset of one person at a time as a little goes a long way. Also, that you cannot change the world but you can change that one person’s world.”

Debra is a super human and a super mom, who this week, along with her daughters, proved that while it may not be everyone, helping just one, can make a big difference. 


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