Breaking the Silence with the Police on the Road to Ngoma

Business Development Officer Sylvere (at left)
Photo Credit: Perttu Saralampi

SHE is getting into an amazing phase of production of our LaunchPads. The pads will be produced in the Ngoma district, more precisely at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC) in the Eastern Region. 

Check out these photos of our production site in Ngoma!

Even the police officers are excited about our LaunchPad!
While on route to delivering our industrial-scale machinery to our production site, our truck was stopped about six times by the Rwanda National Traffic Police.  The police grilled me about what we were carrying in the back of the truck, but I simply responded that, “I am carrying a huge machine to deliver to IPRC East.”  They then asked “What is this machine for?” and I explained that it’s will be used to make KOTEX (Pads) and all them said, “KOTEX making in Rwanda?” And I said “Yes, my company will be producing pads in Rwanda!” I even took advantage of the moment to explain about the taboos associated with menstruation. The most impressive thing that I noticed in them is that they were all interested in hearing more about what we do. So even police officers have some learning to do when it comes to menstruation!

Among the police officers that stopped me along the way, five of the officers were also women. I have since learned that 30% of Rwanda national police are women.  I now wonder how these female officers manage their period while working. Officers are always on the move and sometimes are stationed in areas where they have no access to toilets. 

While during our pilot SHE will be delivering pads to rural school girls, once SHE scales up, we should also consider the needs of our police women too.

By the way, our production site is nearly complete! Everyone that I meet can’t wait to see the LaunchPad, such an innovative product that is being made in Rwanda. Sawa!

- Sylvere
Business Development Officer, Rwanda

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