Welcome Julian Kayibanda, SHE's New COO!

July 30, 2009
Kigali, Rwanda

Hold onto your feathered hats--Julian Kayibanda is SHE's new Chief Operations Officer, running the show in Rwanda. She will lead the continued roll-out of the SHE pilot which consists of health and hygiene education and establishment of businesses to distribute (and eventually manufacture) affordable sanitary pads.

Julian, who is also known as "Sweet," is a sharp, personable, and savvy woman of the world. She is Rwandan, grew up in Kenya, and studied in India. And if you think you are going to talk about her behind her back, think again--she knows English, Swahili, Kinyarwanda (Rwandan language), Rutoro, Luganda (Ugandan language), French, Hindi, and Kannada (Indian languages). Yes, I said Kannada! She brings a wealth of operational experience to SHE and passion for our mission. Watch this space as Julian takes the pad and runs with it!

Rags Aren't Always the Answer

July 10, 2009
Turerane, Rwanda

Women have been using rags for thousands of years when they menstruate. If that's the case, why would SHE take a different approach and try to decrease the cost of sanitary pads?

Recently, our on-the-ground SHE investigator, Maria, had the chance to talk with Rwandan girls at a local Young Women's Association. Listen to what they say:

Annalita says, “The second day of my period it is very tough. It is very painful because it is very heavy. It requires me to use a lot of rags and I need to change a lot of times and also it is very difficult in the village to get soap. So if there is a chance of getting affordable pads then I would be able to change.

If you have pads when you are travelling it would be easy. That would help you to continue with your daily programs and let you go where you wanted to go and do what you wanted to do.”

Anonsiatta says, “The reason I want to stop using rags is because when I spend a day with a rag it burns my thighs. Sometimes when you board a bicycle you sit on it and when you leave you have stained the seat that’s why I wish we could get pads. I think the pads would be easy for us to use.”