Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018

SHE celebrates Menstrual Hygiene Day every May 28th, and this year we held our biggest celebration yet.

Boys, girls, and their parents took a spot on the field to learn and break the silence around menstruation. Schools competed to put on the best menstrual hygiene drama skit in the hopes of winning money to improve their school’s girls room.



Miss Rwanda 2018 graced the stage to announce the winners of the competition and encourage girls to not shy away from asking questions about their periods.










11,500 people participated in SHE educational events for Menstrual Hygiene Day, with 4,000 gathering to celebrate on the day itself.  The Ministry of Education was present to support SHE Rwanda’s work in improving girls’ education. Thanks to coverage from Radio Rwanda, our message traveled across the country, reaching 90% of the population of Rwanda.

Join SHE as our Development Associate


Who We Are: Sustainable Health Enterprises, or SHE, is an innovative, international and growing social venture. Its mission is to invest in people and ideas that are typically overlooked (and often taboo) to drive social and economic change.

SHE has built a groundbreaking model of social change, highlighted by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. With seed funding from Echoing Green and Harvard Business School, SHE launched SHE28 in 2009 in Rwanda to address a global problem: girls’ and women’s lack of affordable menstrual products. As a result, SHE developed a patented technology, designed and implemented a manufacturing process, and created a distribution network, coupled with health education, to deliver affordable essential products to the underserved.  This has resulted in behavior change and healthier and wealthier lives for thousands of girls and women. SHE has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, and PBS Newshour.

SHE is seeking a proven writer and project manager with fundraising experience to help double our raised revenue by 2020. We currently have 2 full-time staff in the U.S. and work with a mid-size staff in Rwanda.  The Development Associate is an integral member of our Global team and reports to the Director of Strategy. The Development Associate will also directly support the CEO in all fundraising initiatives. The position is full-time and eligible for Sustainable Health Enterprises benefits.

Your Role

This position requires a personable, energetic individual who is eager to contribute through excellent communication skills and project management skills to oversee the day-to-day development operations within a fast-paced environment. The Development Associate proactively oversees SHE’s development strategy through implementation of SHE’s strategy and goals. The successful candidate will be characterized by initiative, problem-solving ability, flexibility, and responsiveness.

Data Management, Revenue Tracking, and Analysis

  • Manage quality control in Salesforce database and in Salesforce integrations with other platforms (e.g. Classy and MailChimp).
  • Track all revenue (checks, in-kind, online, stock) in, committed, and lost, using a folder-based system and in reports in Salesforce.
  • Create fundraising reports as needed.

Funder Management

  • Serve as the first point of contact for donor inquiries and handle regular donor correspondence, including leading donor acknowledgments.
  • Coordinate tactics to bring on new donors and grow existing donors, including:
  • Track follow-up with potential donors and proactively keeps Director of Strategy and CEO on track in follow-up;
  • Track a “moves management” pipeline for all major and lead donors;
  • Coordinate follow-up donor cultivation plans with CEO and Director of Strategy.
  • Assist CEO and Director of Strategy by preparing written materials as needed for multiple funder audiences including but not limited to, pitch decks, blog posts, press releases, social media assets, and e-mail announcements.
  • Write high-­quality short, medium and long-form copy for fundraising campaigns.
  • Create and oversee holiday campaign messaging and content including website, emails, donation page, social media, and appeal mailings.

Grant Development and Management

  • Assist in grant and report writing by conducting research, managing annual grant cycle, coordinating staff roles and requirements for each proposal, and tracking results.
  • Write grant proposals and produce grant reports based on donor requirements including collaborating with the Rwanda staff when it comes to data collection and analysis.
  • Track multi-year grants for renewals.
  • Use grants management database, track submissions, awards, and reporting.

Financial Management Support

  • Work with bookkeeper to complete monthly financial reconciliation.
  • Maintain electronic and hard copy file systems; including management of fundraising databases and folders.

Who are we looking for?

As a member of the SHE Team, you will be sharing a private office with the Director of Strategy, and be part of a larger co-working space and community that offers free food (occasionally), free coffee, and plenty of cubby holes to go into when you need some quiet time. Skype will become your best friend as you work with our Rwandan colleagues.

This position requires a real go-getter willing to roll up your sleeves. You thrill in checking off tasks off the to-do list and helps keep the team on track by staying five steps ahead of deadlines and funding opportunities. You are incredibly responsive to calls, emails, and inquiries.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • 2 or more years’ experience in a high-performing fundraising environment;
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills – including the ability to write clear, structured, articulate, and persuasive proposals and reports;
  • Advanced research skills; familiarity with various internet research tools;
  • Strong analytical skills; familiarity with data tracking and performance management;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – including the ability to interact with stakeholders and funders with different backgrounds, levels of seniority, etc;
  • Strong attention to detail and follow-through;
  • You have a high degree of proficiency in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Suite and Adobe Suite;
  • You are comfortable tackling problems head-on and adapting to shifting priorities, working individually and within a team, and managing multiple projects simultaneously;
  • You have a strong ability to identify and anticipate challenges, analyze situations and provide recommendations;
  • Strong commitment to SHE’s mission.

Desired, but not required

  • You have experience with Google Adwords and Google Analytics and are constantly thinking of ways to measure the ROI of anything you do.
  • You have experience with website technology (WordPress experience is a plus), design tools (Canva or Adobe PageMaker), social tools (Hootsuite), and email marketing tools and resources (Mailchimp).

How to Apply

For consideration, applicants must include:

  • a résumé
  • a cover letter
  • a writing sample that you believe is the best thing you’ve ever written. It must be non-fiction and between no longer than 3 pages.
  • 3 references

To apply, please email and include your resume, cover letter, and writing sample as attachments. Your references should be in the body of the email. The subject line should read: “Application: Development Associate.”

Short-listed candidates will be contacted by the SHE team. Unfortunately, SHE may not have the capacity to answer candidates’ questions until they are short-listed and contacted.

No phone calls or in-person applications, please.

Salary:  $45,000 – $55,000 depending on experience

Interested in being SHE’s next Production Engineer? We’re hiring in Rwanda!


We are recruiting an energetic and commercially minded mechanical engineer to join our core team. The successful candidate will have a proven track record in machine fabrication, small-scale factory setup, and mechanical problem solving. The position will require both hands-on and CAD design capacity. This is an ideal position for a hands-on mechanical engineer seeking to join a growing manufacturing start-up in Rwanda and deliver transformative, global impact. The position will require an intense and creative pace of work, flexibility and resourcefulness, and a keen ability to navigate the cultural and physical aspects of field work. The job will be located in Ngoma district with travel between Kigali to the main office and will report to the Production Manager


Manufacturing duties:

  • Work closely with and help to train quality control inspectors, technicians and production personnel in enhancing the quality and manufacturability of our product.
  • Creating and editing SOP’s and QC inspection documents.
  • Evaluates production processes by designing and conducting research programs; applying knowledge of product design, fabrication, assembly, tooling, and materials; conferring with the existing machine. This often requires creativity and resourcefulness to keep the factory running while waiting for proper repairs or components.
  • Develops Production processes by studying product requirements; researching, designing, modifying, and testing manufacturing methods and equipment.
  • Improves production efficiency by analyzing and planning workflow, space requirements, and equipment layout.
  • Assures product and process quality by designing testing methods; testing finished- product and process capabilities; establishing standards; confirming production processes.
  • Provides production decision-making information by calculating production, labor, and material costs; reviewing production schedules; estimating future requirements after consulting the Production Manager
  • Assist Production Manager in planning, managing and executing production operations.
    • Supervise and motivate production process night & day shift to meet quality and performance standards.
  • Keeps equipment operational by coordinating maintenance and repair services; following manufacturer’s instructions and established procedures; requesting special service.
  • Completes design and development projects by training and guiding shift leads.
  • Maintaining and modifying equipment to ensure that it is safe, reliable and efficient
  • Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
  • Work with Production Manager to execute the following
    • To identify opportunities for new technical innovations.
    • To provide engineering technical assistance to Rwandan’s production team related to R&D and technical developments for replication of our machinery and existing production process in Rwanda.
  • Assist Production Manager in planning, managing and executing production operations.
  • Supervise production process to meet quality and performance standards.
  • Record all production metrics to report to the Production Manager
  • Read and manipulate models and drawings in CAD.



This role will be particularly suitable for intellectually curious manufacturing or consultant-types that are eager to dive into our production scale up. Previous experience in manufacturing roles is a plus.


Specific experience:

  • University degree, preferably in Engineering or other related.
  • 2+ years’ experience in a R&D, design, or consulting role; experience working with Product design Engineer
  • Solid knowledge of Excel, Word, Powerpoint
  • Fluency in English required
  • Experience with computer-aided drawing such as AutoCAD, Sketchup, Microstation, etc. to generate technical designs
  • Mechanical aptitude, ability to troubleshoot and repair mechanical issues with production equipment and tooling.


Desired experience:

  • Demonstrated experience working with basic shop machines and tools: manual mill, lathe, welders, etc; machine fabrication skills are preferable.
  • Experience in a medium volume, medium-tech manufacturing setting, preferable.


Personal traits and skills:

  • Attention to Detail: As Engineers you need to possess a high level of attention to detail to ensure nothing important is forgotten that could potentially derail the factory.
  • Analytical: you think through problems in a structured way: assessing them quantitatively wherever possible, breaking them down into their component parts, and tackling the highest impact problems first. You are good with numbers, and understand how different KPIs relate to each other.
  • Human-centered design thinking: you can employ a variety of techniques to understand user pain points and design creative solutions from first-principles (not just the way things have always been done). Just as importantly, you can communicate your vision using a variety of tools to a variety of stakeholders.
  • Presentation skills: you can translate complex numbers into language that makes sense to any audience.
  • You deliver and expect the best: At SHE, we all strive to deliver extraordinary work and believe that the work we are doing will benefit millions of people. We also expect others to do the same. You must take pride in owning and delivering your vision, and not be content to just faithfully execute instructions.
  • Desire to learn: You should be able to demonstrate that you know the current state of the engineering industry and can work effectively within it. Anticipate where it might go in the future.



Candidates who fulfill the requirements are requested to submit their Applications (Application letter and resume) to before 23 June 2018.


Do you know SHE’s next team members?

We’re looking for three dedicated superstars to join our team in Rwanda and New York. In Rwanda, we are seeking a Health and Hygiene Manager and an Administration Officer. In our New York Office, we are seeking a Development and Communications Intern. Apply now if you are interested, and please pass on these job descriptions if you know someone who may be interested! The full job descriptions for all three can be found linked below:


Rwanda Positions:

  • Health and Hygiene Manager: We are currently seeking an experienced Health and Hygiene Manager with strong skills to join our growing team. In this position, you will oversee, design, develop, coordinate, and run both large- and small-scale training MHM program. To do so you are required to be strong on Leadership, Government and partners relations. Manager will build on the existing work and experience of SHE- Rwanda to develop creative resources to support the delivery of Menstrual Health Education in Rwanda. The material will be widely used in the whole country by other organizations seeking to improve girls’ and women health through health education and community awareness. The Manager will also be requested to work in close collaboration with the Business team to coordinate and implement larger community awareness outreaches to our pad purchasers to ensure that communities receiving go! pads are also able to access Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) information they need. Click here to read the full job description.
  • Administration Officer: The Administration Officer is responsible for maintaining day to day financial, accounting, administrative and personnel services in order to meet requirements and support service operations. The Administration Officer will report to the Managing Director and she/ he is responsible for assisting with preparation of financial statements, maintaining cash controls , prepare the payroll, prepare the fund request together with the MD and personnel administration (Time sheet , Leaves records) purchasing, maintaining accounts payable and managing office operations. Click here to read the full job description.

New York Office Position:

  • We’re looking for a highly motivated individual who wants to work and learn with our development team for 12-15 hours a week for a monthly stipend. S/he will be responsible for conducting research to support our fundraising and development efforts, help us improve our donor communications, and manage our social media sources. Click here to read the full job description.

Meet a SHE Farmer: Nyiransaba

We’re growing quick in Rwanda! As we reach more and more girls, we also need more banana fiber.  In order to fill this demand, SHE has begun working with a new banana farming co-op in Rwanda, giving 220 new farmers the opportunity to earn over 30% higher incomes.


Nyiransaba is a farmer and a mother of 5 children. She is one of the farmers in the new banana co-op we began working with this year. What does this new opportunity with SHE mean for Nyiransaba?


“The women in my village have a club to help us to save money and every member must pay her share each Sunday. It used to be hard for me to bring my share each week but with the banana stems I extract, I am now paying on time. I also have been able to buy others basic need at home and pay school fees. In fact, I have even bought go! pads for my oldest daughter! I have been surprised that the banana stems we used to consider as waste can be used to produce sanitary pads. We now count banana fibers as money.”




Though she has just started receiving additional income from SHE, the money Nyiransaba is saving will give her and her family financial independence and the ability to get ahead in the future.  SHE plans to bring on one additional co-op by the end of the year.

Want to be our next intern?

Are you a highly motivated individual who wants to work with an innovative, international award winning social enterprise? Can you work on a volunteer basis for 8-12 hours a week in our NYC office? If so, you may be interested in becoming our next Development and Communications Intern! We will work with any candidate to obtain college credit if needed, and this position is well suited for someone enrolled in university and studying a related field.

Responsibilities include:


• Be our sleuth. Conduct research on prospective funders and foundations.

• Show our funders some love. Write thank-you notes to acknowledge our donors.

• Back us up. Edit and proofread documents such as slide decks, communications materials, and proposal materials. Conduct needed research for proposals as needed.

Social Media

• Write on. Research and develop creative content for social media and blog posts.

• Keep the trains running on schedule. Organize social media and blog content into an editorial calendar.

Administrative Support

• Support SHE. Respond to inquiries from account (respond directly or direct inquiries to appropriate staff member, as needed)

• Get to know the database. Enter data into Salesforce as needed.

Our ideal candidate has:

• Great writing and communications skills.

• Organizational skills and the ability to manage time well.

• An understanding of social media platforms and WordPress. Knowledge of measurement tools such as Google Analytics a plus!

• A passion for women’s rights, international health, or social enterprise. The ability to talk about these issues comfortably to produce content consistent with our brand.

• A knack for design, some experience with Adobe Photoshop preferred


If interested, please send a resume, cover letter, and a two-page writing sample in an email with “Development and Communications Intern” in the email heading to


If interested, please send a resume, cover letter, and a two-page writing sample in an email with “Development and Communications Intern” in the email heading to by September 8th.

SHE Stories: Discreet Design

Aimee Sealfon Kassana is a Design Director living in Kigali, Rwanda. She started working closely together with the SHE team and Johnson & Johnson two years ago as both a designer and a design strategist. The SHE Team and Johnson & Johnson design partnership created sustainable design concepts together with key stakeholders, in order to develop more sustainable go! packaging and readily accessible health education. During the decade that she worked for Johnson & Johnson, Aimee says that designing for SHE is the project she is most passionate about and invested in.

1. How did you start designing such culturally sensitive and work? How did you test your designs to make sure they communicated the right messages?

All designers need to be culturally sensitive in order to create materials that are successful. I began working with Johnson & Johnson more than a decade ago as the design director for the Women’s Health franchise. I managed the design and creative direction of the consumer packaging for all of their global women’s health care brands and feminine hygiene brands. Some products play an intimate role in women’s lives, and understanding the appropriate cultural sensitivities and how they differed from region to region — and even country to country — was incredibly important to understand from a consumer insights perspective.

As a designer, I have to gather insights on cultural norms, customs, practices, taboos; how and where she shopped; how she lived, trying to better understand her desires and dreams; mapping her journey and how she interacted with these products throughout her life. These insights were then embedded into the design concepts that were developed, in order to create products that added delight, meaning, or in some ways, improved or positively impacted her life.

To test them, we would create prototypes and share them directly with our target audiences in both qualitative and quantitative groups to gather critical feedback and / or co-create together.

2. What did you learn from this work and how did those lessons affect the final product?

Women around the world ultimately have very similar feelings and frustrations around their intimate health needs. Women are women. Regardless of where they live or their socio-economic status, women struggle with issues of self-confidence and wish they knew more about what was happening to them. Being aware of this has allowed me to create consumer experiences that are more approachable and delightful, more meaningful and authentic.

3. Why does design matter on this project? How does it lead to social impact?

People are inherently visual beings, so I would like to think that good design is important for all projects. However, in this specific case with the development of more sustainable packaging for SHE, we needed to figure out how to create more sustainable packaging that also fit within the consumers’ lives in a seamless manner.

It is really hard to change existing behaviors — for example, trying to get the girls to dispose of their used pads and wrappers in a manner other than throwing them down the latrine would be challenging. Recognizing this need led to the development of PET coated paper for the pad wrappers, which will biodegrade.

4. Tell us about the educational pamphlet you’ve been making for SHE.

As we gathered insights from the girls and women, to gain more perspective around how to create more sustainable packaging, we also learned that the girls had SO MANY questions that were not fully answered from what was taught in a classroom setting. They were intimate questions that they did not feel comfortable asking their teachers or their aunts or older sisters. Thus, the idea to create a pocket-sized, educational pamphlet that could be updated in different versions, was born, as it allowed the girls easy access to all of their most pertinent sexual and reproductive health queries, in a format that was discreet (easy to hide from nosy boy classmates and brothers) but that was also easily shareable with their friends and younger sisters.

How to Build a Production Process That Sticks

Building a sustainable social business comes with many challenges, but the quality of the product itself is one factor that can make or break success. How do we keep producing a high-quality product, and how do we ensure this production can be sustained in the future?

We’ve enlisted Leah Putman, an engineer who brings years of experience working in both American industries and low-resource environments to join our Rwanda team in tackling these challenges.


Quality is Key

In order to have a business that lasts, Leah knows we have to be “producing a stable and reliable product that girls can count on.”  To keep accomplishing this, Leah has begun to work on improving the consistency in our banana fiber supply chain. This can be difficult since rainy season in Rwanda can cause unpredictable downpours that extend fiber drying time by days. Our team will build a storage facility to dry the material at the supplier, which will reduce the amount of time spent on drying and washing of fiber.  In the meantime, 2017 is already on track to be our most productive year yet.


Eyes on replication

SHE is solving a global problem, and we never take our eyes off the big picture, which is the replication of SHE28’s model. With every minor and major step we take in production, we always keep replication and scale in consideration.

On a large scale, we recently implemented some new machinery (pictured above), which our staff affectionately refers to as “The Turbo King Machine.” This technology boosted our production capacity- we’ve made nearly 60,000 pads already this year! In order to recreate this technology, our staff will have an important challenge.

The SHE production team will recreate this technology with parts that are easy to find, replace, and repair locally within Rwanda. If we are able to rely on locally sourced parts, we ensure sustainability and prevent many of the common failures that traditional development projects often face.

But even on a smaller scale, Leah noticed that the adhesive that holds the pads together before they are sealed is currently imported, but could be made locally. She is experimenting with different formulas that would be “easy to use, stick well, cost-effective, and easy to make anywhere.”  Even in her free time, Leah is tinkering with different formulas at her kitchen table.

These incremental improvements will produce big returns. Local sourcing increases our impact on the local economy and lowers our unit costs so that we can reach as many women and girls as possible.