In 2015, 30 women joined together to form a community in order to save the money needed to buy clothes (twambikane means “to clothe each other”). It was also about freeing themselves from financial dependence on their husbands. Each member contributed RWF 100 per week to the cooperative. In time, the money saved could also be used to provide loans to the members.
Soon, however, they came to the conclusion that their economic situation was not improving significantly this way, so they wanted to generate added value through their work. They decided to produce liquid soap to improve hygiene standards in the community.
In 2016, they created their first business plan, and COERESO funded in August the training to learn how to make soap, materials and equipment, a machine to make soap, the rent of a house to start production, and a study trip to Nyamirambo Women Center to learn from the experiences of these women.
After various changes in the membership, the current cooperative is extremely committed to the further development of the products. In addition to two types of hard soap, a skin balm is now being produced.
In order to increase production and take the final steps towards independence, COERESO is supporting the financing of their own house and additional technical development.