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Ever heard of reusable pads? A young man from Karongi is introducing the concept

muragijimana shukuru modeste yitabiriye amarushwanwa yo guteza impano mu rubyiruko azwi ku izina rya youthconnect

All countries around the world, including Rwanda, are committed to achieving sustainable development, but that sustainable development we all seek is impossible without environmental care and preservation.

Muragijimana Shukuru Modeste, a young man from Rubengera Sector in Karongi District, thought of an environmentally friendly solution to one of Rwanda’s problems after finishing school and not finding work for three years.

Muragijimana, a tailor, began producing washable sanitary pads in 2019. It wasn’t perfect at first, but he persisted in order to master his craft and create a quality product.

He gradually improved his product and has now captured large markets for diapers and reusable sanitary pads.

Sanitary pads are in high demand, particularly among young girls who require them during their monthly menstrual cycle, women who have given birth, and people with diabetes.

This young man is a youth rights advocate who founded the Rwanda Youth Advocacy Champion organization to protect young people from abuse of any kind. It was through this foundation that he got the idea to make reusable sanitary pads.

Muragijimana continued to work with these young people, and they later discovered that they had only solved one of the problems. He wanted to start making diapers for babies because they can use five diapers per day, which equals 1000 Frw, whereas women only need 1000 Frw once a month.

“I made baby diapers and added a way to increase the size so that they can be used until the baby no longer needs them,” he explained, adding that there is no need to throw away reusable diapers because they can be washed and reused for up to three years.

According to Muragijimana, the main goal for him is not to sell and profit, but to make it easier for underprivileged youth to obtain sanitary pads and to assist young mothers who must take care of their children’s hygiene by providing them with affordable products.

What customers say

Nyiraneza Clémence of the Rubengera Sector claims that she has been using these diapers and sanitary pads for two years with no problems for her or her child.

“My son used to wear diapers and they would damage his skin, but since I started using these diapers, he no longer hurts,” she explained. “I’ll use them, wash them, and sun-dry them before reusing them.”

These washable cleaning cloths have three layers, the first of which is a soft microfiber cloth. The microfiber cloth ensures that everything is transported within the pad.

In the middle is a reusable cotton cloth that is responsible for absorbing and storing, and the third part is a polyester layer that prevents everything from spilling out. Because it is biodegradable, this pad is environmentally friendly.

This young man started by making 20 sanitary items per day and now has 12 employees making between 150 and 200 sanitary items per day, with the goal of having a factory that manufactures diapers and pads for export by 2023.

Last year 2022, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) awarded Muragijimana Modeste a 5 million Frw grant to support this project as one of the environmentally safe projects.

muragijimana shukuru modeste yitabiriye amarushwanwa yo guteza impano mu rubyiruko azwi ku izina rya youthconnect
Muragijimana Shukuru Modeste, Youthconnekt award 2022

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