Brian Mwanabeene provides menstrual health care to underprivileged women by working with homes and orphanages.
He uses the power of social media to get manufacturers and brands to participate in the provision of sanitary wear to women.
Brian was inspired to start this project after visiting a prison and seeing women sitting in sand because they did not have access to sanitary pads. He was so moved that he vowed to do something, but quickly recognised that on his own, he could help only a handful.
He started a small tutoring business to raise money to buy sanitary pads and distribute them through homes and orphanages. He started blogging and attracting a following on social media and soon brands also started noticing and getting involved in his campaigns. He has been able to reach and help more women as a result.
His leadership skills, relationship building capabilities and interaction with his followers are what sets him apart.
Brian notes that he has been greatly impacted by working with women. He has learnt first-hand the challenges that society imposes on women over a natural occurrence. This knowledge has given him a better understanding of just how debilitating it is not to have sanitary wear. This has in turn fuelled his actions to create awareness and get more brands involved.
Leveraging his social media following, Brian negotiated with sanitary wear manufacturers to offer discounted products and in some instances donate products. In exchange, Brian would promote them across various social medial platforms. This approach also helped him deal with the funding challenge he faced.
His desire to change the community he lives in and also to create a community where menstrual periods were not a stigma, are what keeps Brian motivated and determined.
He is advocating for governments to start providing free sanitary wear at key points just as they are doing with condoms. He argues that sex is a choice but periods aren’t and everyone should have a right to sanitary wear.
Brian would like to see more youths involved in community development and actively participating in affairs of the communities they live in. He believes youths have more opportunities now than the elders before them and should therefore harness innovation and become change agents.
In the next five years, Brian wants to become influential in promoting youth both in government positions and within corporates. Brian believes young people are key to the growth of the SADC region. Young people with fresh and innovative thinking is what will take Africa forward.
Brian is inspired by hard work, consistency, and the drive to always keep going despite the odds of one’s current situation. He looks up to Aliko Dangote, Hakainde Hichilema, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs and is inspired by what they have created.