The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya
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TOPIC: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya

The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 13 Jul 2011 22:25 #22

  • muench
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See these interesting photos from Maxie Matthiessen which show discussions on menstrual hygiene products in Kenya (like the menstrual cup in Kenya):

www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/721...983/with/5887801286/

Makit is a company that aims at improving menstrual hygiene through business. Makit is going to sell a menstrual cup (Ruby Cup) through women-to-women sales around Kenya and other parts in Eastern Africa. On these pictures you can see Makit conducting their market study asking women about menstrual hygiene issues and introducing the menstrual cup. The results were very positive and women asking where and when it would be possible to buy the Ruby Cup.
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Last Edit: 21 Jul 2014 14:28 by muench.

Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 14 Jul 2011 07:35 #23

  • tmsinnovation
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Hi Elisabeth

Thanks for the post. Do you know how much the "Ruby Cup" is going to cost?

Regards
Trevor
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Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 14 Jul 2011 10:21 #27

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Maxi told me that the Ruby cup will be sold at a suitable price.

The Diva menstrual cup in Germany cost e.g. 28 EUR - totally overpriced for a little piece of silicon rubber (??) - but the company also has to be able to make some profit. After all, you can keep one for 10 years or so! A company can make much more money with pads and tampons of which you need lots each month... Hence it must be hard to have a profitable business out of any menstrual cup.
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Last Edit: 19 Jul 2011 17:25 by muench. Reason: had to remove some information
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Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 18 Jul 2011 23:20 #33

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Thank you for this information Elisabeth.

This is welcoming news considering that the cheapest packet of sanitary pads in Kenya costs about 65-70 Kenya shillings. Way too expensive!

Let’s say that a packet costs about 70 shillings (€0.50) which is the cheapest price you can find in a kiosk. In such a packet, there is an average of 10 pads. Normally one would use 3 pads during the day and 1 overnight for the second and third day which are normally the heaviest days. That translates to 10 Kenya shillings (€0.07) per pad therefore in a month where one menstruates for 7 days, the average girl would need approximately 18 pads per month translating to two packets per month i.e. 140 Kenya shillings (1 EUR)
In addition, there is the possibility of buying just one sanitary pad that costs 12 shillings (€0.09)
Doreen Mbalo
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Last Edit: 27 Sep 2011 09:13 by Doreen.

Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 19 Jul 2011 08:09 #36

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Have a look at the flickr collection: www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157626959211983/ to see the Ruby Cup team in action.
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)
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Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany

Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 31 Jul 2011 12:26 #51

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Thanks for the pictures and information!
I know a lot of women in Switzerland (and around) using similar cups for ecological reasons.

But I wonder if for religious and other reasons to use the Ruby cups would not need a important behavioral change as you introduce it instead of just having something in you underwear...???

Thanks for sharing your experiences on this – Dorothee
Dorothee Spuhler
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Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 05 Aug 2011 23:04 #76

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Dear Dorothee,

Wow, I am impressed that you say many women use the menstrual cups in Switzerland (or at least quite a few). Here in Germany, they seem to be so unknown, even my gynocologist had never heard about them.

You are right about the inserting question. I am no expert on this, but was amazed to learn how few Chinese women use tampons for example. I am not sure if it is the higher cost or the insertion part that puts people off using tampons in China. I read somewhere that Muslims discourage tampon use, especially for young women (fear of destroying virginity).

I hope that other on this forum who know more about this topic will share their knowledge with us here: how do women around the world view the option of inserting a tampon or cup to manage their menses?

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 22 Aug 2011 12:06 #130

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Dear Elisabeth

On the use of tampons in Zimbabwe there's also that fear of destroying the virginity in girls. I remember growing up i never wanted to hear anything about tampons because of that myth and only recently have i started using them. the reason why so many women in my circle don't use tampons even though they would want to is because they are too expensive compared to pads and also the lack of knowledge on how to insert them.

On the cup, i have no knowledge on anyone using them in Zimbabwe.

Cheers
Annie
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2011 12:08 by awesome.

Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 12 Sep 2011 14:45 #248

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Dear Elisabeth,

My name is Hellen and I work with an Organisation called Sisternet that is based in Sweden. We have been working with school girls in the slums of Nairobi in Kenya on the usage of menstrual cups as an alternative to pads.
Giving out menstrual cups to girls is not a solution to creating a sustainable sanitation when it comes to better ways of dealing with menstruation. The best way will be to use menstrual cups as an entry point to having girls discuss their reproductive rights. This is how we have managed to work so far with 10 different schools and 60 girls within a duration of six months.
I come from Kenya, but now resides in Sweden. In my community it is a taboo to discuss menstruation in public and it is more difficult to convince people that Menstrual cups can be used as an alternative to sanitary pads.
We have encountered quite a few challenges since we kicked off the project in Kenya. Some issues that have come up;
1. Girls will lose their virginity
2. Stigmatization
3. Lack of even support from friends and family (this was very obvious when we started the project, but now things are changing.
Hellen

Www.sistercup.wordpress.com

Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 18 Sep 2011 09:29 #263

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Exciting news for anyone who is interested in menstrual cups for women and girls in developing countries:

I just read on Sanitation Updates that the Danish company Makit, who developed the Ruby Cup which we discussed above in this discussion thread has won a Swedish grant worth EUR 20,000 in the Swedish "Innovations against poverty" grant scheme.

Well done, Maxi and team!! Please tell us more about what you are up to, what you had to do to win this grant and what you can now do with the money?

Here is the headline and link from Sanitation Updates:
Danish company gets Sida grant to sell menstrual cups in Kenya

sanitationupdates.wordpress.com/2011/09/...trual-cups-in-kenya/

(by the way, I can highly recommend subscribing to Sanitation Updates, it really is a very good and useful news service focussed on sanitation. They are also a SuSanA partner)

Dear Hellen, thanks for your interesting posting as well. Which brand of menstrual cups have you used in your work so far? I agree with you, menstrual cups are just a tiny piece of the puzzle, which could be used as an entry point to tackle all the other issues around reproductive health and rights for women in Kenya (?). (do others see this as realistic or too ambitious?)

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. From my own personal experience, I swear by the Diva Cup, although I have never tried other brands, and assume they all work pretty well. What I like here is that we are not talking about some sort of second class product which is only for poor women in developing countries but not for wealthy women in Western countries (= the old discussion about pit latrines versus flush toilets... (??)). These menstrual cups are appreciated around the world, by poor and wealthy women alike. One of the big unknowns is whether hygiene precautions (washing hands and the cup) could be sufficiently observed and entrenched.
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Last Edit: 18 Sep 2011 09:30 by muench.

Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 18 Sep 2011 12:44 #264

  • Maxie
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Hey Everyone,

Thank you so much for posting on this site and sharing your thoughts. It helps us very much to read your thoughts and to share experiences with you.

We will now update you here on the forum, ask questions, share experiences and hope to be able to learn from each other through this open communication and great SuSanA site.

For now a little update from our Ruby Cup social business. We have recently returned to Nairobi, after we received a grant from the SIDA´s Innovations Against Poverty programme, that Elizabeth already referred to above.

We will start very slowly conducting a pilot with a sample of women, that will sell the Ruby Cup and earn a small share form it.

From this pilot study, wich we will monitor thoroughly, we will learn from the women what kind of education they need, what sales material works best, how the Ruby Cup is received by the local community etc. This means, we will co-develop a scalable package together with the local women in order to find a business model that works best for girls and women in Kenya. After the pilot, we will implement the sales model in the rest of Kenya.

I will continously blog on this page, let you know about our results, lessons learned, inputs from the local women and hope that you will share your thoughts and come with inputs as we move along.

Enjoy your day and Asanti Sana!

Maxie
Maxie Matthiessen
Co-Founder of Ruby Cup by Makit Ltd
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Last Edit: 21 Jul 2014 15:10 by Maxie.
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Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 19 Sep 2011 08:48 #265

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Hongera Maxie!

I am so happy that this is going to be promoted in Kenya. I can’t wait to tell all my friends about it!
This is really welcoming and exciting news. The Ruby Cup will assist many women in Kenya who are facing enormous challenges managing menstruation. As you can see from our discussion forum, the majority have welcomed this as an innovative and sustainable approach towards MHM. We are now of course very curious to know how it will be received in the local communities! We look very much forward to the results, lessons learned, the inputs from Kenyan women and your experiences.

Congratulations once more!

Best regards

Doreen
Doreen Mbalo
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Last Edit: 19 Sep 2011 08:49 by Doreen.
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