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Interview with LUNA, a Femtech company based in Rwanda.

Berabose Aline Joyce (she/her) from LUNA, Interviewed by Ruby Moon (she/her) from Team August | 2.17.2023

LUNA is a Femtech company ensuring every Woman’s safety, privacy, and wellness.

We were lucky enough to host the co-founder, Berabose, for a live broadcast on our virtual homebase (join here!) to talk all about her company and the great work that they do for access to healthcare services.

Meet Berabose, the CEO & co-founder of LUNA:

Berabose Aline Joyce (she/her), aka Bose, is the CEO of LUNA and a self-proclaimed “proud feminist”.

She worked as an SRHR advocate against period poverty for 5 years, hence her involvement with LUNA.

When she, along with her co-founder Chibudu Samson Nyiro (he/him), saw the opportunity to improve access to women's health specialists – they took it!

If you could describe your organization in one sentence, what would it be?

“A safe community platform where women can find access to verifiable and safe products and services.”

What was the inspiration behind LUNA?

“We founded LUNA after conducting focus group research with various women to share their experiences using services and purchasing products.

We were inspired to find a solution after hearing stories about the stigma, harassment, judgments, and other horrifying realities that women face when using services, particularly in healthcare.

LUNA's mission has been to change the way women receive, seek, and experience services and products since its inception. It offers members a secure and private way to work with verified professionals, as well as access to a free community platform where they can communicate anonymously with other women and experts about topics of interest such as Mental Health, Sexual & Menstrual Health, Motherhood, and many others.”

Do you have a memorable period story to share?

“The most memorable one is me getting my first job, and not knowing how to tell my managers that each month during my period, I had very painful cramps.

I knew it would always be painful but I would continue going to work, interacting with clients, despite the pain and not being able to even work properly. It wasn't until later that I gathered the courage to express it.

It is always expected that cramps can't be all that bad, and definitely not enough to make you miss work. Yet, every time my period came, I had to come up with a story to excuse why I wouldn’t be at work.

Super glad I am self-employed now!”

In the live interview, Bose shared what the most common period products among Rwandese menstruators are...

Reusable pads made from rags and other locally sourced materials!

She explained that a big reason that they rely on pads, instead of tampons or cups, is because anything inserted is stigmatized due to the old-school connection or understanding about virginity.

Bose told us that across Africa, the cultural ideals are quite conservative and there is more progress to be made in terms of what conversation topics drop the taboo and become normalized.

She ended the live broadcast with a super sweet message back to our Inner Cycle Community saying that she’s inspired by our openness with each other and willingness to learn and share.

– not a dry eye on the screen! <3

How did you discover August?

“Through Period. The Menstrual Movement. I was doing same period awareness work and loved the idea that more inclusive and quality products were coming up [from Nadya, August’s CEO & co-founder and the co-founder of Period. The Menstrual Movement.]”

What do you hope to see for the future of the menstrual experience? (i.e. representation in media, education, stigma & shame, etc. – take your pick!)

“In terms of representation, I would like to see more diverse and inclusive representation in the media, throughout society, and in public discourse. Specifically more women of color from all forms, shapes, sizes.

In terms of education, I would like to see a more holistic approach to teaching, with a focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and passion/purpose driven courses.

In terms of stigma & shame, I want to end the negative connotations associated with specific biological functionalities like periods, disabilities and body choices.”

What advice would you give to younger menstruators out there?

“I hope you manage to build a healthy, caretaking and respectful relationship with your body.

Periods can take us through a lot but hopefully it will be a reminder every month to care for yourself.”

Feel free to add anything else here as a wrap up <3

“I can do anything while bleeding. That's freaking powerful.”

Follow along with LUNA!

If you want to learn more about the great work that LUNA does, CLICK HERE to check out their website and follow along on all social media platforms @luna4africa

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