Junior is fighting hygiene poverty in Zimbabwe
Since becoming a RISE Fellow 6 months ago, Junior has impacted over 1,000 people through the creation of her hygiene banks. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Junior wanted to use her hygiene business, Wave Detergents, to support underserved communities to prevent illness. She noticed that a lot of NGOs had built boreholes where women would gather to collect water. Junior pitched to the RISE team that she would like to create hygiene banks next to the boreholes so that the low-income women could purchase affordable hygiene supplies whilst collecting the water for their family.
Continue reading below to learn more about Junior's Fellowship with Sundara as well as her biggest accomplishments.
“Can you tell us about your fellowship?”
My fellowship with Sundara has been nothing short of amazing. It pushed our business to a point of growth and created real impact. The seed funding helped us to set up two hygiene banks which support underserved communities to access our affordable soap. I received mentorship from several RISE mentors who supported me to increasing our sales, learn about social media marketing, cash flows and how to write winning grant proposals.
“Since the beginning of your fellowship, how many lives have you been able to impact?”
We have impacted more than 1,000 people since the inception of the fellowship through enabling more people to access soap. Our impact would not have been possible without the help from Sundara and for that, we are so grateful.
“What was the community's access to soap-like before the fellowship and how has this changed over the past 6 months?”
With prices constantly skyrocketing, existing hygiene brands seemed like a luxury to underserved populations in Zimbabwe. Yet, through the RISE fellowship, we managed to make hygiene products accessible to several communities that needed an urgent intervention in order to access to WASH services. Our solution has allowed low-income populations to recycle their preloved containers and buy soap for a discounted rate.
“How have women been supported through your work?”
We work with women in both our manufacturing and distribution processes providing our employees with an income that they can use to send their children to school, escape abusive relationships and grow as professionals. Our work also supports families to prevent illness which reduces the caregiver burden which women in low-income communities often have to bare.
“How has the fellowship supported your confidence as an entrepreneur?”
Through the mentorship program and the fellowship at large, I have been motivated to expand the Wave Detergents soap brand to a larger audience. This was greatly encouraged through the brand activations mentorship I had with Eram Siddiqui and I am excited to launch our brand activation event on the 25th of May through a brand activation event we are going to do.
“How do you think you have inspired other young girls in Zimbabwe?”
Being a female in manufacturing, a STEM-oriented endeavour, I have had a lot of young women sharing how they feels inspired by my journey. It has been a humbling experience as I am still learning each and every day to make sure that OV Product’s work is as impactful as possible. Knowing that there are young girls inspired by my work motivates me to try to be the best version of myself for the greater good of the community.
“What do you envision the future of OV Products looking like?”
The future looks promising. We envision a future where our processes are all automated and we are manufacturing more than 10,000 tonnes of product per week. A future where we become a household brand in championing hygiene practices in Zimbabwe. A future where more women are empowered through our efforts and have more resources to pursue their dreams without worrying about hygiene issues affecting their families. We would love for you to follow our journey on our Facebook and Instagram.
“Is there anything that you would like to include?”
Thank you for believing in our vision and for making our work possible. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for partnering with us in making this world a safer place. To all the people we also worked with at Sundara, thank you for committing your time to ensure that this program was a success and beneficial not only to me but for all the fellows. The future looks exciting!