September 18, 2014

It’s finally time to get real! Village Volunteers are starting a fundraising today with the goal to build their first manufacturing plant in India. Please take a look at their website and see what you can do to contribute!

Great progress!

May 12, 2014

We are extremely happy to announce that things are moving forward! Our partner, Village Volunteers, is doing a great job starting up

“A sustainable social enterprise that produces

biodegradable sanitary pads out of water hyacinth”.

Read more about it here:

And if you live in the U.S. you can support the project at the same time as you make your (or someone else’s?) periods more carefree with a monthly subscription on organic tampons, pads and liners:

Social Design Award Winners!

December 3, 2011

Yay! We were one of four winners of the design competition “Design for the Real World REDUX

We were invited to Vienna 10-11th of November for a symposium, award ceremony and exhibition. Great city, and great event – Thanks Papanek Foundation!

Jani is a finalist in “Design for the Real World Redux”!

July 26, 2011

Our project have been selected as a finalist in the Victor J. Papanek Social Design Award “Design for the Real World Redux”!

As a finalist our project will be featured in the Design for the Real World Redux exhibition in Vienna (November 10, 2011–January 31, 2012) and in New York (March 6–June 17, 2012)


Safe and sound at home and bye bye bed bugs

June 19, 2011

At 06:30, we landed safely in Amsterdam to a greyer and 15° colder climate. We hugged each other goodbye and separated to our different final destinations. Once having arrived to our homes, our project bye-bye-bed-bugs began: throwing our clothes in the washing machines and washing them at 60° and putting our non-60°-washable belongings in the freezer for a few days.

Last hours in Kampala = recuperation

June 18, 2011

Four out of five of us were after a rough night drained from energy and Kristin became the nurse of the Jani-group. We unfortunately had to cancel a meeting in the morning with a journalist working on reporting on the impact of donated sanitary napkins in East Africa. We could not either make it to our planned afternoon visit to one of the Makapad factories to see the manufacturing of the sanitary pads out of papyrus. Dr. Musaazi, the founder of Makapads, was however kind enough to drop by our hotel for a few minutes so that we could share with him the progress of our work.

The traffic through the city of Kampala was heavy and the 47 km trip to the airport took nearly two hours. Marc had increased his luggage weight with almost 30 kilograms after having bought a bicycle in Kenya, but the bicycle made it on to the plane. It felt strange to be at the airport again. In one way, it felt as though we had just arrived and on the otherhand, it felt as though we had been in Africa for a long time. One thing certain is that we have learnt a lot and hope that what we’ve learnt will help to develop the Janipad further. Thank you Africa for this time!

Tea with the Major, a bus trip to Uganda and the mysterious stomach bug

June 17, 2011

The Major of Kisumu invited us to his office for a cup of tea. Chalmers University of Technology (Karin, Marc and Sophie’s university in Sweden) has a good relation with the city of Kisumu, and one of our professors had mentioned to the Major that we were in Kisumu. We shook hands with the Major, signed his guestbook and drank tea in his parlour while discussing water hyacinths and our Jani project.

After a slight one hour delay, we boarded the bus to Kampala, Uganda. During the bus trip, Sophie was mysteriously struck by an evil stomach bug and one by one everyone in our group (except for Kristin) succumbed to the bug. One hour after our arrival in Kampala, Marc and Karin also fell ill and early Saturday morning, Lars Marcus followed the same path of illness. The source of the evil stomach bug remains unknown.

Jani-ing all day

June 16, 2011

Lars Marcus had made a to-do list, which we worked through from dawn till dusk. After a breakfast of toast and fried eggs, we made new Jani prototypes that had a slightly different construction compared to the prototypes that we had brought with us on our trip. The new prototypes were constructed in a way to further increase the material efficiency as well as the reliability in the seams. We also developed a few new prototypes for our idea of making a pad that would be even less costly than the Janipad. During the day, we also started putting down on paper our thoughts of the entire process of making the Janipad, from harvesting until the manufacturing and packaging of the pad itself.

The delivery of 480 reusable pads & Lars Marcus gets a haircut

June 15, 2011

Under the shade of the parasol on the Sooper Guesthouse’s roof terrace, Kristin, Marc and Lars Marcus worked with finding ways of how the Janipad could be manufactured and packaged. Karin and Sophie went on a purchasing expedition to buy bus tickets to Kampala and also came back with a secret lunch surprise: 100g of cheddar cheese!

At noon, the 480 reusable pads that we had ordered from KMET were delivered to our guesthouse. These pads will later on be picked up by either Irene or Muthoni from Mama na Dada, who will distribute them to the 80 girls at the high school in Kunya.

We re-took the same group photo that we had taken two years ago on the very same spot at Sooper Guesthouse (except that the roof terrace was now two floors higher up after the additional vertical expansion).

After lunch, we spent a few well-deserved hours of almost holiday time and went to the Masai Market for some shopping. We also visited Kibuye market where Marc and Lars Marcus bough a pair of slippers made of old tyres and Lars Marcus got himself a haircut from a rather reluctant hair dresser, who was more accustomed to African hair.

Building new prototypes & Kristin finds a bed bug in Sophie’s mosquito net

June 14, 2011

Marc, Kristin and Lars Marcus went on a purchasing panties hunt and Karin and Sophie toured the hardware and textile stores for the right materials and tools to build our new prototypes with. We spent the morning and a good part of the afternoon making prototypes. The session was put on hold when Kristin discovered a bug in Sophie’s mosquito net, which unfortunately led to its execution followed by a thorough analysis, which determined the bug to be a bed bug. Once all Karin’s, Marc’s and Sophie’s belongings were relocated to a new room, the prototype session continued.

Karin and Kristin tried the new prototypes and all of the them were afterwards evaluated. From the evaluation, we determined those that could be interesting to continue with. Based on our learnings, we also developed some new ideas, which we also made into prototypes.

Work in progress!

Marc tried to imagine how to handle the reusable sanitary pad when visiting the latrine