Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured
The following are key milestones of our success to date. After that, we describe our more medium term measurements for success.
• Trained 50 Community Health Workers (CHWs) in health and hygiene education;
• The CHWs have reached 5,000+ Rwandans in health and hygiene education across the country; and,
• Established new partnerships with leading school districts (FAWE) to adopt the curriculum in the classroom.
• Kicked off national health education roll-out in partnership with Community Health Workers and local authorities to train 56 trainers of trainers and local community leaders in the Rwanda Eastern Province, Ngoma.
• Hired Alphonsine Uwimana (experienced Trainer Of Trainers) to lead national health education roll-out;
• Had in-depth conversations with new NIKE/Girl Hub initiative for girl health education, entrepreneurship--any partnership would be 2012 around economic
activities/pad distribution; and,
• Disseminated health and menstrual management content to actors worldwide requesting it: India, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Haiti.
• Led grassroots advocacy campaign (with 10 other leading orgs) entitled “Breaking the Silence on Menstruation,” catalyzing hundreds of Rwandans to march across the capital and engage in public discussion on how to break down barriers to girls’ education;
• As a response, the Rwandan government passed the 2011 budget which includes a new line item of $35K to procure menstrual pads for girls in the poorest regions of Rwanda; and,
• Local leaders advocated for Rwandan Parliament to vote on the abolishment of an 18% VAT on menstrual pads.
• Met with campaign committee (i.e., head of FAWE) and reviewed SHE internal recommendations on national strategy to remove pad tax; and
• Sparked interest from diverse stakeholders (i.e., UNICEF, Walmart and large girl-focused foundations such as Novo-Buffet and Belinda Stronach Foundation) to potentially collaborate on global campaign to remove pad tax.
• Equipped 50 Community Health Workers with simple business skills so that they can start their own small distribution business selling pads at 15% less than the prior African benchmark price (and ~60% less than premium brand products);
• Collaborated with MIT, North Carolina State, and the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology in developing an innovative process to use local banana fibers as the raw material to make menstrual pads (forecasted to sell 35% less than benchmark and ~70% less than premium brand products and forecasted to create 100 jobs per manufacturing franchise); and,
• Completed in-depth manufacturing center due diligence: gauging potential sites, identifying potential raw material suppliers, national distributors, machinery fabricators, etc; and,
• Kicked off partnership with Bobby Chang of INCASE to take pad 1.0 to higher sophistication in product design and manufacturing processing ensuring consistent quality.
• Planned for local fabrication of machinery using pad 1.0 design: investigating sourcing finished materials from Kenya, engaging local fabricators (CITT);
• Hired Rwanda staff: young business school graduate to be business researcher, Justine Mueteri; and
• Vetted CEOs and “implementers” from two professional shops for pad 2.0: Innovation Edge, run by former Chief Technology Officer of Kimberly Clark (http://innovationedge.com/)—materials experts, and TC2 (http://www.tc2.com/index.html)—machinery, tech transfer experts.
The success of SHE’s efforts will be measured in three areas:
1. Girls’ increase in school attendance: Significant increase in school attendance and decrease in pelvic infections for target menstrual pad population (approximately 37,500 ten to fourteen year old girls in Eastern Rwandan pilot district) in short-term; in long-term, increase in income, productivity for target population (with same demographic characteristics) throughout Rwanda and beyond.
2. Women’s increase in work attendance: Significant increase in income of entrepreneurs working in franchises (one hundred 18-35 year old women) in short-term; in long-term, increase in health and education outcomes for their families.
3. Decrease in infection due to menstruation
4. Sustainability of pad franchise (pad sales covering at least fixed costs) in short-term; in long-term, profitability and financial independence from 3rd party sources.
A baseline study has already been conducted countrywide in Rwanda, the site of the pilot, where SHE team members talked with over 500 girls and women and found that 18 percent of girls who miss school do so because menstrual pads are too expensive. Meanwhile, 12 percent of women who miss work do so because menstrual pads are too expensive. GDP loss because of absenteeism due to menstruation is significant (~$115 million in GDP/year in Rwanda).