Impact report 2020-2021
10 years of impact No numbers without stories, no stories without numbers.
Ruby Cups donated 2012-2021
139,325 Kilos of plastic waste saved by our donations
Kilos of CO2 saved by our donations
7,384,225 ‘Feeling of freedom and independence.’ Most common user feedback
Our work spans Africa, Asia, Europe and USA
What makes us different?
We have identified three key elements in our fight against period poverty Access to and ongoing support with safe menstrual care products
Comprehensive, empowe that helps destigmatize m
A Ruby Cup is more than a convenient way for you to manage your period. It’s a guarantee that someone, somewhere in the world, will be able to do the same. With this Impact Report, we’d like to show you how we go beyond our Buy One, Give One promise to make sure nobody is held back by their period. This is our vision and our main driver as a social enterprise. With the help of a network of locally-based partner organizations, we have been tackling the challenges of period poverty. We’ve become the world’s leading donor of menstrual cups, with more than ten years of experience and over 139,000 cups donated.
Access to water and other WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) infrastructure Impact Report
ering period education menstruation
The past two years have changed all of our lives.
COVID-19 presented us with a new reality and with challenges we had never seen before. It made a lot of our work harder for sure. But it also showed the ingenuity and adaptability of our locally based partners. As lockdowns were enforced all over the world, we put our heads together to work out how we could still make donations happen.
We found creative ways in close cooperation with local health care and community workers. Thanks to your continued support, we have achieved a lot in 2020 and 2021 despite all the difficulties.
Cups donated 2020-2021
Adapting our Buy One, Give One model to the global pandemic
Frontline healthcare workers
Donations in 2021
In the spring of 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we offered a free Ruby Cup to any healthcare worker or group of healthcare workers that requested them. Impact Report
In our effort to support those at the frontline during this unprecedented crisis, we sent 1,165 Ruby Cups to workers in Spain, UK, Israel, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Germany, Romania and Kenya.
Door to door donations
“During lockdown, access to menstrual products was a massive issue. Before COVID-19, despite the government’s pledge to supply free products in schools, provisions were still insufficient. When lockdown started, even these small quantities of menstrual products ceased to be available to school girls. So the girls were left to their own devices as the government did not factor the need to menstrual products in when managing lockdown. This resulted in an increase in a situation of vulnerability amongst adolescent girls, as well as in teenage pregnancy.
This was worsened by losing access due to the school closures. So during lockdown, Ruby Cup trainer and Ambassador Vanessa and I distributed Ruby Cups door to door. We spoke to girls and gave out as much information as possible on menstrual and reproductive health, assisting as many families as possible with products and information. This way, we managed to distribute 500 Ruby Cups.” Impact Report
Rachel Mwikali Pan African Feminist & Women Human Rights Defender Nairobi, Kenya
Our locally-based partners We rely on our locally-based partners for their expertise and their knowledge of the specific cultures, systems and challenges of the regions they are operating in. These organizations are key to the success and sustainability of our social impact work - and as such, we know that vetting and supporting them is an essential part of our operation.
If it’s a match, we proceed to the next phase. This usually involves meeting and training the trainers that will be administering educational workshops and handing out the donated menstrual cups. They receive and distribute their first batch of Ruby Cups and evaluate their progress and success. Based on this evaluation, we decide whether to continue our cooperation.
When we find - or are made aware of - an organization that we consider cooperating Using this process, we have now built a with, we first do our research to figure out network of around 20 ongoing partnerships, with four new whether our values are aligned. organizations having joined us over the last two years. Part of that is done by having our prospective partners study our Let’s introduce a few of them over the sustainability manifesto and fill in a course of the next pages! partnership questionnaire.
How we give
A customer buys a cup and we match it with another cup to be donated to one of our locally based partners.
Our partners receive a shipment of cups for their needs. We ship donations in batches to reduce carbon emissions.
Our partners distribute the cups with an educational workshop. We have produced a detailed menstrual health and cup training toolkit.
Supportive follow-ups and ongoing evaluation are carried out after 6-7 weeks and 6 months, to help with doubts and questions.
Partners must produce a report after 6-12 months with learnings and uptake rates. Succesful programs have an average uptake rate of 80%. Impact Report
Our partners in 2020 and 2021 13
Golden Girls Foundation - Kenya Door-to-door donations in Mathare, Nairobi Changing Lenses Changing Lives - Kenya Elekeza Mwana - Kenya Womena - Uganda Ufulu Malawi PSI Malawi - NEW Care International Uganda Welthungerhilfe - Uganda ASSÍS, Donas Sans Llar Project - Spain NEW Fundación Pere Tarrés Spain NEW Hafod Housing- UK NEW Ditch the Rag - UK Social Period - Germany BeArtsy - Nepal
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Welthungerhilfe An anti hunger and anti poverty German Organization. They run Project Eva, which works to provide menstrual products and information about menstrual health to teenagers and young women living in low income settings.
Donations in 2020-2021
In 2018, we were approached by Welthungerhilfe, one of the biggest private aid agencies in Germany. Thanks to their well-established operations in Uganda, we have been able to achieve some amazing successes together, including the distribution of around 6,000 cups. Here are just some highlights of our collaboration in Uganda: • Inclusion and sensitization of local
leaders to put issues of menstrual health on their agenda • Training and follow up of 60 female prison inmates in Moroto and distribution of menstrual cups • Distribution of additional menstrual cups during a cholera outbreak in the region of Karamoja • Dismantling stigma and demystifying menstruation by engaging men and boys in education activities.
“With the support of Ruby Cup to the Welthungerhilfe menstrual health interventions, we have followed up with more than 6,000 girls and women who have received menstrual cups. All of them were given an education on menstrual and sexual reproductive health. By engaging men and boys in education activities, taboos and stigma around menstruation were bit by bit dismantled.” Anika Malkus Expert Partner Coordination Uganda Country Office
“I can now dance, I can ride my bicycle to town and can eat together with my family and visitors during my menstruation. Menstruation is something natural, and we now can speak about it!” WHH program participant Karamoja, Uganda
Population Services International (PSI) A health care NGO with over 50 years of experience. We are excited to have partnered with their Malawi chapter, whose hands-on approach works very well with our own philosophy. They are cooperating closely with local consumers, thereby allowing Malawians to access their choice of health care products on-demand, including period products.
Donations in 2020
PSI Malawi were able to work with the Malawi Girl Guide Association (MAGGA) to distribute 500 Ruby Cups in the first year of our cooperation. Since then, 6,000 more cups have been shipped to Malawi. Thirty girls have themselves been trained as trainers.
Despite reported challenges due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, PSI were able to operate safely by working with school administrations to prevent overcrowding, administering masks and sanitizers, and in some cases sending MAGGA facilitators to visit girls at home.
A follow up survey six weeks after distribution showed high adoption rates, with 96% of participants saying they would recommend Ruby Cup to a friend.
The success of PSI’s distribution program reinforces our belief that communitysourced knowledge is the best basis for sustainable giving practices.
Edith Banda 19 years old
“Ever since I received a cup, I don’t miss classes because of my period. Once I insert my cup I don’t worry about leaking or smelling, I can even change and wash my cup at school.”
ASSÍS ASSÍS is an organization that supports unsheltered people in Catalonia. They are pioneers at researching the challenges of women in a situation of homelessness.
Donations in 2021
Traditionally, homelessness is a situation often considered to affect mostly men. While this is true, we now know that by the time they end up «on the street», women have typically gone through ten times as many traumatic experiences. Many resources were put in place with men in mind, to the point where most shelters do not have separate showers for women, for example. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made situations of domestic violence worse for many women (and often their children).
Services like ASSÍS have been overrun by an increased demand of people having to leave their homes. Our collaboration is still young: In 2021, we ran two Ruby Cup workshops and distributed eight cups among the women living in one shelter. We have since then evaluated the model and replicated it in another ASSÍS-ran house, and we are hoping to add more to that list soon.
Elena Salas ASSÍS Program Manager
“Menstrual poverty is a reality that very much affects women in vulnerable situations. The price of sanitary products is often not affordable for unsheltered people, and they are not considered essential products and therefore not distributed in assistance centers.”
We never stop learning! Actual sustainable change for the better is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Similarly, we believe that just going to a place to drop relief supplies is not actual help - that’s a cargo cult mentality. To make a long term positive impact on the lives of those that menstruate, your product donations need to go hand in hand with education, support and community-wide sensitization. This is a crucial part of our model as a social enterprise. That being said, we know from our own experience that there is always room for improvement: • When COVID-19 restrictions were prohibiting our usual indoor trainings, we carried out some large scale outdoor educational workshops. Our evaluations later showed that the adoption rate for those distributions were very low. Our takeaway from this is that our workshops need to be the right size (we recommend a maximum of 50 participants). We want to make sure that all participants can get all the information and ask questions. They also need to be carried out in an environment conducive to delving into a subject that most consider taboo. • The vetting process for our locally-based partners is supposed to ensure that they are experts in the setting of the region where our distributions take place. There have unfortunately been some instances in which we have learned too late that for different reasons, the menstrual cup is not the ideal solution for a group of people. For example, in communities where female genital mutilation is widespread, it can be very difficult or impossible to use a cup. It is our job to do our groundwork and make sure we offer solutions that work for our program participants.
Amaia Arranz, COO & Social Impact Director Julie Weigaard Kjaer, Cofounder & CEO Impact Report
How can you help? Now that we’ve shown you how WE help, let’s turn this around on YOU!
How can you help destigmatize menstruation and eradicate period poverty? If you’ve already bought a Ruby Cup, that’s a great start! Here’s a few more ideas:
• Go out and get educated! Many of us, no matter our gender, still don’t really understand menstrual health and the menstrual cycle as well as we could. Our blog posts are a great place to start. • Consider purchasing a donation cup to get even more products donated. • If you’re feeling really proactive, you could write to your local government asking them to urgently address period poverty.
Periods shouldn’t be shameful
Let’s get proactive in tackling period poverty.
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