Our Work

Why Soap?

GSP_Sierra_Leone_1You might be surprised to learn that the leading causes of death for children in developing countries  are hygiene-related illnesses, which claim more than 1.8 million lives each year. That’s nearly one-third of all child deaths. Handwashing with soap is the single most effective way to prevent those deaths. In fact, soap is more effective than vaccines, medications, or clean water initiatives alone. Research has shown that soap can reduce diarrheal disease by nearly one-half and rates of respiratory infection by about one-quarter.  Hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved each year if  people had ongoing access to soap and understood how to properly wash their hands.


What We Do:

Quite simply, we work to improve global health in a measurable and sustainable way, one bar of soap at a time.  Our partner, Clean The World, receives partially-used and discarded soap from hotels, recycles it into millions of new bars, and then Global Soap strategically distributes the new soap to people who lack access to it around the world.  We have three focus areas for our soap: Soap in Schools Initiative, Emergency Relief, and WASH Programs. To-date, we’ve distributed new soap through relief efforts and hygiene education programs serving millions of people around the world.

To maximize our impact in-country, we partner with leading global health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CARE, and Partners in Health, to identify and reach people who do not have access to soap, or people who lack an understanding of how and why to use it.  We focus on short-term relief efforts (refugees and disaster victims) as well as long-term WASH programs for people living in extreme poverty.

Our goal is to ensure that once people receive soap, they have access to it for the rest of their lives.  This means helping them understand how to use it, why to use it, and why it is worth acquiring from local sources long-term.  In other words, we create an immediate positive health impact that can be sustained for the rest of their lives while supporting local economies, and without creating dependence on us or free soap.

To help fulfill this goal, we also operate an ongoing micro-loan program to provide start-up capital and training to small-scale soapmakers in communities that lack access to quality, affordable soap around the world.  Through this initiative, we’re able to make sure that soap is sufficiently available for residents in the community so that once people understand how and why to use soap they’re able to source it locally instead of relying on us or other aid groups for donated products.  This helps support the local economy, while ensuring the positive impact on global health is sustainable long-term.


Learn more about our process and our distribution efforts here: