Who would’ve thought SHE28 would be featured in the Smithsonian? Ten years ago we came up with an idea to expand opportunity to women and girls who lack access to affordable hygiene products. Now we’re making history with an innovative, sustainable process that makes go! pads accessible to tens of thousands of women and girls all over Rwanda.
Our history making doesn’t stop there. With education and advocacy, we’ve reached over a million people to date. We’re even training refugee women ambassadors to deliver hygiene education to their community. We’ve had a groundbreaking 2018, made possible by all of our investors. Thank you.
But there’s still a need in Rwanda and beyond. Are you ready to keep making history with us?
Thank you for taking this journey with us,
Founder & Chief Instigating Officer, Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE)
OUR YEAR AT A GLANCE
In 2018 SHE focused on increasing our brand presence in more parts of Rwanda, engaging with the community in nationwide education and advocacy, rolling out a new packaging pilot for our core product, and testing banana fibers from different countries all to create a sustainable health solution for women and girls. Read more about what your investment has helped us achieve in 2018:
Can you believe they displayed a menstrual pad in the Smithsonian? SHE was honored to be present for the opening of the Design with the 90% exhibit highlighting innovators around the world developing sustainable solutions for marginalized communities. If you haven’t seen the go! pad in all its glory, view it on display through May 11, 2019 at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center in Seattle.
The 2018 Women’s March may have had a big turn out but so did our Menstrual Hygiene Day celebration! Along with spreading awareness to over a million people, we advocated for national uptake of our menstrual hygiene curriculum from the Ministries of Health and Education. We're that much closer to getting our curriculum approved and used to train teachers all over Rwanda.
UNHCR SPONSORS OUR NEW REFUGEE AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
We joined the UNHCR’s Economic Inclusion of Refugees in Rwanda Initiative and applied SHE28 to the refugee community with our new Refugee Ambassador Program. Refugee women can now become entrepreneurs through teaching hygiene management and selling go! pads in the Nyabiheke Refugee camp. Pictured: Refugee Ambassador, Chance (left) and Refugee camp focal point, Jeanninne (right).
Celebrating Community Education
We're on a mission to stock as many shelves with go! pads as possible. Believe it or not, kiosk owners sell menstrual products in their shops but aren’t always knowledgeable about menstrual hygiene management. So we hosted a training and went all out. We invited the whole village to come learn, dance, and celebrate having accessible, affordable hygiene products and knowing how to use them. The cherry on top was the music and DJs we invited to make it a real party! Our goal is to make go! a nationally known brand.
Trying out a new look for the go! pad
In order to reach as many women and girls as possible with go! pads, we listen to their feedback on a weekly basis. Launching our go! pad packaging pilot gave women and girls more purchasing options accompanied by a sleek, new look. We “wrapped up” our pilot last quarter with new knowledge of what users like and want from their hygiene products. We’ll keep running the pilot and adapting in 2019 to grow our brand and keep users at the center of the design process.
Giving Fiber testing a "Go" in new countries
Our vision for SHE28 is to provide an affordable and accessible go! pad to women and girls globally. But where do we begin? The first step is to put foreign fibers to the test; so we flew to Zimbabwe to see how these fibers fare against those from Rwanda. With some new knowledge, we’re on the road to introducing go! pads to new countries. To be successful, we’re making sure that we adapt our model to each new country and community we work with.
What's the scoop on innovation?
SHE got started by listening to 500 women and girls. So we keep our ears to the ground to meet the needs of communities. Without a doubt, the students who receive our hygiene education are some of our strongest Champions. We returned to the winning school of the Menstrual Hygiene Day skit competition to ask two secondary students their thoughts on what it means to be innovative. Here’s what they had to say:
"Innovation for me means to do something such as manufacturing juices and selling them."
"When there is innovation, unemployment rate decreases which contributes to developing the lives of those who got the job and the country."