You are a 14 year-old girl walking to school. You are in the third day of your monthly menstrual cycle. You have a body odor. You can smell it and so does others around you. This odor is a constant part of your life – month after month. The boys walking to school near you are loudly taunting you and you know the taunts will continue once you reach your classroom.
What should you do?
The answer is simple – take a shower or a bath. However, what if there is no soap?
There is no soap in your home. There is no soap in your neighbor’s home. There is no soap in your village. Now, what should you do?
This was one of the plights described to us at the Blogalicious Conference by one of the speakers, Derreck Kayongo, founder of the Global Soap Project. Mr. Kayongo was the first to invent a process to recycle slightly used bars of soap when he realized that hotels discard millions of bars of this type of soap per day. The hotels in the U.S. alone discard more than 2 million bars of partially used soap per day!
Mr. Kayongo informed us that many teen girls drop out of school because they are ashamed of their body odor and cannot bear the taunts of the boys. He also informed us that 1.7 million children die each year in developing countries due to hygiene-related diseases. I was very dismayed that something I take for granted every day – never questioning its existence – was so lacking in other countries. I was also ashamed that I was so uninformed about this need.
It was impressive to listen to how Mr. Kayongo, a refugee to America, determined this idea and became the innovator of this life-saving project. In 2011, the year he started the Global Soap Project, he earned the distinction of being one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes. Now, his organization partners with other organizations – CDC, Care International, World Health Organization, etc. – to donate approximately 1 million bars of recycled soap annually to 32 other countries.
You can read more about Derreck Kayongo and the Global Soap Project at http://www.globalsoap.org.
I have added the Global Soap Project to my list of charitable organizations to support annually. In researching how I can help, I learned that a $25 donation will provide seven persons enough soap for 1 year along with hygiene education. Also, I learned that GSP is linked with Amazon Smile (http://smile.amazon.com/ref=smi_ge_rl_rd_gw?_encoding=UTF8&ein=27-0621849) and they will donate 0.5% of my eligible purchases to GSP. I have enrolled in that program, too. The most important way to support is to get as many hotels involved as possible. I searched the website and I did not find many hotels in my city that participated so I plan to download the brochure from this location (http://www.globalsoap.org/get-involved/tell-a-hotel/) and inform hotels in my local area.
One of my core beliefs is that I am blessed to be a blessing. Supporting this organization is another way for me to put action behind my belief. It is my hope that some of you reading this post will consider supporting this organization in their effort to save lives with a bar of soap.
Please pass the information about this need and this organization to those in your circle that you think would be supportive.
Had you heard about this organization before this post?