09 Mar 2021

Social Impact with Soap Making

Ahead of this year’s Women’s Day Celebrations the Wibena Impact team spent Saturday 6th of March in the outskirts of Kigali at a cell called Kanyinya. Some of the activities that Wibena engages in are providing education and vocational skills to women and youth as a way of enabling them to have sustainable incomes. This time round, in partnership with Kandaka Naturals, Wibena Impact worked with a women’s self-help group in Kanyinya led by their Chairperson Mukamana Athanasie and the cooperative’s secretary Mukanshyimiyimana Theophile. The group of 31 women came together to learn soap making. A facilitator from Kandaka, Victor Hirwa, hoped the women could leave the training having being empowered. ‘Our first objective is to enable women; these women had started making handcrafted baskets but now we want them to be able to make soap for their own consumption and for sale. The kind of soaps they will learn to make are all purpose and will be made from natural ingredients in order to promote health as Wibena’s program campaigns.’ Says Victor, a qualified Chemist.He adds that soap making is an industry that anyone can join and requires minimal resources.Wibena is not stopping at teaching these women but will go a step further and set up a plant in order to create means for an even bigger number of women and youth to sustain themselves. According to Wibena Impact CEO Wycliffe Aganda, plans are on course to set up the first soap making plant in the area to give residents something to look forward to, a chance to learn a new skill and earn from it.To make the soaps the women will use ingredients such as medicinal herbs mixed with scented herbs. Besides the natural soap they will learn to make other soaps that are oil based and will be sold at a fair price in order to successfully compete with other soaps on the market. Victor says, ‘their soaps will have all the necessary ingredients and will be approved by the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB). We will continue to train them and follow up to ensure they know exactly what to mix in order to comply with the standards.’ ‘I believe in a society where all African young Women are more engaged and economically empowered in small and medium enterprises in bridging the gap to access to finance.’ Says Wycliffe who founded Wibena Impact in 2018, with the aim of improving the quality of people’s lives.

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