SHE Goes to Zimbabwe
We’ve made 520,698 go! pads to date and we’re not stopping there!
To keep the momentum going, we traveled to Zimbabwe in May to explore how we could turn what’s typically seen as plant waste into go! pads. We hosted a banana fiber extraction training led by our very own engineer and Technical Director, Leah!
To kick off day one, we met with twenty-nine eager women farmers at the beautiful training site at the Magadzire Centre. The farmers made sure to wear goggles to prepare for the messy extraction process ahead. We realized that unlike banana plants in Rwanda, Zimbabwean banana plants are full of water. This means that these varieties can be left out for up to two weeks before extraction. Immediately after extracting the fibers from the banana stems, they were placed in water to prevent discoloration. We then hung them out on a line and later stored them in dry place called a hozi, the word for storage room in the Shona language.
On the second day, our group of farmers grew by ten. They even brought with them five different banana plant varieties that we successful extracted fibers from.
Stay tuned to find out if these new fibers will be suitable for go! pads!
There is still work to be done to make SHE28 possible in Zimbabwe. Repairing the road to the training site and building a centrally located banana fiber collection depot are top priorities. Our training could not have been possible without our partners in Zimbabwe. Siyabonga! Maita Basa! (Thank you!)