WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

 

Girl Talk

Below, girls share their experience with SHE28 and the impact it is having in Rwanda. How can you break the silence? By investing and sharing the experience of Justine, Jessica, and Jackie, you can activate girls and women to continue challenging the status quo.

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SHE Selected as Semi-Finalist for the 2016 Fuller Challenge

SHE has been announced as a 2016 Semi-Finalist in the Fuller Challenge, a prestigious annual competition named “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award”. Each year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute invites scientists, designers, architects, activists, entrepreneurs, artists and planners from all over the world to submit their innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy.

Nineteen proposals, including ours, have been selected as Semi-finalists after rigorous review for adherence to the seven-point Challenge criteria: Visionary, Comprehensive, Ecologically Responsible, Feasible, Verifiable, and Replicable. Our application has been through three rounds of vetting by the members of the Challenge Review Committee, including analysis and evaluation by an interdisciplinary team of experts and advisors.

“Each of these projects deserve the attention of the world for their commitment to ‘solving for system’ – an approach that takes an unusual degree of insight, patience, tenacity and courage”, said Elizabeth Thompson, The Buckminster Fuller Institute’s Executive Director. “The teams behind these initiatives have made extraordinary efforts to define the systemic context underlying the problem they are seeking to solve, and have designed strategies that provide enduring and sustainable solutions. Each is a remarkable example of the transformative power of individual initiative and provide much needed hope by demonstrating that solutions to our most entrenched problems are indeed at hand.”

We’re honored to make the cut in this prestigious human-centered design competition. Stay tuned for the winners’ announcement in September.

Add to your bucket list: Kilimanjaro Climb for SHE 2017

Join the #climbforSHE team, July 1 – 11, 2017 across the Rongai Crater Route, Mt. Kilimanjaro.

This is your chance to close the gender gap for thousands of girls and create new jobs for the women in her community in Rwanda. SHE is equipping school girls with the pads they need to thrive at school by building a sustainable business that trains local women to make and sell these pads in their communities.

You can be a part of changing of Rwanda’s economy by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro July 2017. The Rongai Crater Route starts from the north side of Kilimanjaro at the village of Nalemoru near the Kenya border. This less traveled trail allows discriminating trekkers to distance themselves from the busier routes on the lower elevations, offers a great variety of fabulous vistas that most climbers never get to see. The route passes through lush farmland and pine and cypress forests before ascending into the rainforest where you may see troupes of black and white colobus monkeys. In the higher moorland zone enjoy views of the Kenyan plains rich with game.

Stay tuned for more info about how to sign up. In the meantime, watch the video below to learn more about SHE and last year’s inaugural climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Download a brochure

See photos and read testimonials’ from last year’s adventure

go! Out & Play on Menstrual Hygiene Day

Guest Post by Jeannette Murekatate, Health and Hygiene Manager

That’s exactly what we did in Rwanda on May 27 by organizing 2030 students (both boys and girls), teachers, and community leaders, in celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day 2016.  This year’s theme focused on “He for SHE”, serving as a call to action for Rwandan boys and men to engage in conversations with girls and women about the significance of good menstrual hygiene habits, and the role these habits play in the health and well-being of all girls and women.

The day’s activities included skits written and performed by students to illustrate the challenges girls encounter while managing their period at school and at home, an all-girl soccer match, and a fact or fiction menstrual health crossword puzzle. In an epic win (2-0), G.S. Gikaya school was declared the game-winner, and SHE awarded each girl a t-shirt in addition to their very own pack of go! pads.

Alphonse Ngarambe, The Director of Health in the Kayonza district, delivered a speech directed to young men, reminding them they can play a role in promoting good menstrual hygiene by starting conversations about menstruation with other men to reduce the stigma and shame that many fellow girl students feel while menstruating at school. He ended his speech with a note of hope, saying  “Abishyize hamwe nta kibananira,” or “Together, all things are possible.”

Providing girls and women information about menstruation and their health, in addition to ensuring affordable access to menstrual products, is not just about health and hygiene – it’s also about affirming their agency and their rights. SHE28 extends beyond our work and collaboration with girls and women to include boys and men, because when everyone is engaged, everyone wins.

Why I Volunteer for SHE: Meet Sam Schulman

Sam offered her brand and design skills with her Interbrand colleagues for a day of service.

Sam offered her brand and design skills with her Interbrand colleagues for a day of service.

How did you find out about SHE?

SHE and Interbrand partnered for Interbrand’s Month of Service in July 2014. SHE was selected out of many non-profit submissions to participate in a one-day intensive workshop to tackle key brand challenges.

What project did you work on with SHE? Whom did you work with? How did you use your skills and talents to help advance SHE’s mission?

We worked with Elizabeth Scharpf (founder and CEO), Connie Lewin (Strategic Partnerships and Marketing Director) and SHE’s Marketing Intern. Originally, the focus was on understanding how to implement visual assets as a result of a recent rebrand. What evolved was a deeper focus on differentiating SHE’s primary campaign, SHE28, from the SHE global brand to ensure SHE could be better leveraged as a platform to communicate the broader objectives of the organization, and support future growth. In just 8 hours, we completed an extraordinary amount together – we developed a messaging platform to express the brand personality; made adjustments to both the SHE and SHE28 logos, introducing greater clarity and flexibility in the visual system; and finally, a brand playbook that included visual, verbal and strategic guidance for implementing the brand effectively.

What are some highlights of your volunteer work with SHE?

Our day with SHE remains one of my career highlights. Not only is the SHE team incredibly passionate about what they do, but they have created a really interesting and sustainable business model unlike many in the space. The team was engaged and decisive which allowed us to iterate together to get to successful solutions.

Sam Schulman brand work as SHE volunteer

Sam and her Interbrand colleagues worked with SHE to produce a brand guide, a refreshed SHE logo, and actionable content all in one day!

What should people know about SHE?

Working with SHE opened my eyes to a topic I had previously known very little about. The work SHE is doing is unique and powerful and I can’t wait to see what SHE tackles next as it continues to grow and make lasting change at a global scale!

SHE has been named a Classy Awards Finalist

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We have some exciting news to share. SHE has been named a Classy Awards Finalist, of the 100 most innovative nonprofits and social enterprises of 2016! We couldn’t be more excited to share the news with supporters like you that make our work possible.

Classy Awards Finalists are a prestigious group of nonprofits and social enterprises selected for their excellence in social innovation and ability to solve a social problem. This year, Classy had 1300 programs across all cause categories submit nominations, and the competition was at an all-time high. The application process was rigorous and intensive, and we were judged using stringent criteria that assesses an organization’s potential to solve a problem and innovative solution.

Our SHE28 program, along with the 99 other Finalists, is now in the running to become a Winner. Our fate is being passed on to the Leadership Council, a diverse board of experts and thought leaders who will collectively vote to determine the 10 Classy Award Winners.

As a supporter, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating this momentous occasion. It’s a great honor to be recognized for our efforts and creative solutions that are making a dramatic impact on the world. If you want to share with your network, here is some copy:

Congratulations @SHEnterprises on being a #classyawards Finalist! The 100 most innovative nonprofits of 2016 >> collab.live/finalists-2016  

So what’s next? Becoming a Classy Awards Finalist means we’ll be traveling to Boston this June 14-16 for the Collaborative + Classy Awards, the largest social innovation event of the year! We’ll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with some amazing folks, like leaders from the United Nations Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Echoing Green, charity:water, and many more. The event ends with the Classy Awards, where the 10 Winners are announced live on stage in a surprise celebration. Join us as our special guest and be a part of the exciting celebration.

Thank you for your support!

Why I Volunteer for SHE: Meet Michael Moscherosch

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My background is in chemistry and I’ve been with J&J for 22 years. I worked for many years in in product development for feminine hygiene products. Now my focus is more on external innovation, sustainability and social innovation.

How did you find out about SHE?

We heard about SHE’s approach to make affordable napkins from banana fibers and we reached out to Elizabeth Scharpf and offered our help.

Dr. Michael Moscherosch at Umunezero banana co-op, RwandaWhat project have you been working on with SHE? How are you using your skills and talents to help advance SHE’s mission?

We began by improving the current process so that the products met the Rwandan Standards Board requirements. I then made a trip to Rwanda in September 2015, which helped us develop a new processes and equipment to increase production at the manufacturing site in Ngoma. I also participated in consumer research to refine the go! pad and its packaging to meet environmental standards. I also helped improve banana fiber quality.

What are some highlights of your volunteer work with SHE?

Having Dany visit us in NJ, visiting the manufacturing site in Ngoma, and visiting a banana cooperative and see how the fibers are produced.

What should people know about SHE?

One of SHE’s goals is to profitably manufacture menstrual pads in developing countries. The goal is to create a financially sustainable business model that is scalable and can be implemented in other banana growing regions in the developing world where women and girls have no access to safe and affordable sanitary napkins.

The Power of Three: Scaling SHE28 with our Partner, JNJ

Guest Post by Dany Karemera, Production Manager


Production Manager feeding the fiber into new Phase 1 machineryI just returned from a week in Skillman, New Jersey. It was my first time in the US – what a beautiful country! I was there for a training with Johnson and Johnson, who assists my organization (SHE) on the development of appropriate technology of manufacturing of sanitary pads out of banana fibers in Rwanda. During my 5 days in New Jersey, I worked with Michael Moscherosch and Ken Pelley, who are J&J engineers. They trained me on assembly, operation, maintenance and repair of the Phase 1 machine that will take banana fibers and convert them directly into fluff (absorbent material) as well as test method training.

Our technical collaboration with J&J has allowed us to develop a revamped manufacturing process with three phases of implementation:

Phase 1 is the new equipment which will streamline our pulping process. It takes banana fiber and converts it directly into fluff.

Phase 2 will convert the fluff into a tissue wrapped absorbent pad that then can be converted into menstrual pads.

Phase 3 will convert the menstrual pads into fully assembled pads.

We presented SHE’s patented innovation and technical collaboration work to senior leaders at Johnson and Johnson, including Michael Sneed, Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs.

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We presented our technical innovation and collaboration to senior leaders at J&J including Chief Scientific Officer Josh Ghaim and VP, Global Corporate Affairs Michael Sneed.


IMG_0467Every night after training, I was hanging out with different J&J people, having dinner together and getting questioned about life in Rwanda and how we make pads out of banana fibers. They were very happy to be with me and get different knowledge from my experience. I also experienced different foods in the US. They were very good but it was hard to eat noodles using chopsticks for my first time! Before I started my training in New Jersey, I had an amazing time with my teammates Connie and Melissa in New York and visited different places such as Top of the Rock where you see an amazing view of New York City, saw dinosaur skeletons which lived thousands years ago at the American Museum of Natural History, and visited beautiful places such as Times Square, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and many more. It was very exciting! I am not scared of changes but to live between -3 degrees and -4 degrees Celsius (about 30 degrees Fahrenheit) was very hard for me. When I woke up and saw snow outside, I was very happy to see the snow for my first time and this was on my list of things to see in United States. I was very happy to see everything in white and Michael taught me how to throw snowballs (very funny). I have returned to Rwanda, and I am now at work with Michael and the J&J team to make our scale-up production process a reality.

Why I Volunteer for SHE: Toykea Jones

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Toykea Jones and I am currently a Senior Manager of Manufacturing Excellence for the North America region in consumer products. I’ve been with Johnson & Johnson for ten years and have worked in the capacity of facilities and maintenance engineering, manufacturing, supply chain planning, global strategy and deployment and program management office (PMO).

How did you find out about SHE?

I first found out about SHE after reading an article on J&J’s internal website written about the efforts from both Michael and Aimee.  With my supply chain background, I knew I could contribute to the effort.

What project did you work on with SHE? Whom did you work with? How did you use your skills and talents to help advance SHE’s mission?

Since volunteering, I’ve developed a model for inventory forecasting and am currently in the process of developing the monthly Sales and Operations Forecast (S&OP) monthly guidance.

What are some highlights of your volunteer work with SHE?

Being able to take my expertise and share my knowledge / best practices.  Who would have ever known I’d be able to contribute in this way?!!

What should people know about SHE?

This unique effort is making a significant impact on the lives of girls and women in Rwanda. It’s truly inspirational!