Efficient, effective, results-driven partnerships are key to the success of the Global Soap Project. When selecting a partner, we consider the following:
- What are the needs of the targeted recipients?
- How is delivery to targeted populations ensured?
- How can we achieve both short-term and long-term positive results?
- How can we ensure we are not harming local economies through the distribution of free soap?
- What can we do to ensure the soap recipients have ongoing access to quality soap without dependence on us?
- What program interventions can be conducted to modify behaviors and instill handwashing as a lifelong habit?
- What can be done to minimize the possibility of graft and corruption within the distribution chain?
- How can shipping be done in the most cost effective and environmentally-friendly fashion?
- How do we avoid “re-inventing the wheel?”
The answer for the Global Soap Project has been to work with other trusted global health organizations that have existing distribution channels and ongoing health programs in local communities, where we can complement their efforts and maximize health outcomes through soap distribution and hygiene habit interventions. You can read more about just a few of our strategic partners below.
Improving Health In Africa’s Largest Slum
Our Kenya program recently started distributing Global Soap to more than 300 families living in Lindi, a subcommunity of Kibera, Africa’s largest slum. Recipients receive ongoing hygiene education and handwashing instruction to ensure soap is used at the most critical times to improve health. Over time, the goal is to instill handwashing as part of a lifelong routine for these families, so that the health impact is sustained. Stay tuned for more updates as our work in Lindi continues!
Promoting Hygiene Education in Guatemala City
Families that live in and around the garbage dumps in Guatemala City, along with children at an education center in a dangerous area of the city called Santa Faz, started receiving our soap last month. The soap is distributed with other hygiene products in kits, and children participate in hygiene workshops, learning proper handwashing to promote better health.
Pakistan Receives Container of Global Soap
Global Soap Project is pleased that our first shipment of 160,000 bars of soap is being distributed throughout Pakistan with the help of our in-country partner, HHRD. The bulk of the soap is being used in schools and orphanages in five provinces including Azad Jammu & Kashmir, benefiting more than 10,000 school children throughout the region. Recipient students are given Hygiene Awareness Sessions to teach them about the importance of personal hygiene and how using soap properly is an important component of good health.
Global Soap Distribution in Isiolo, Kenya
If you drive four hours north of Nairobi you pass by Mt. Kenya and some gorgeous, lush land planted in various crops. And then the green stops. This land is so dry, it’s not possible to grow a thing. Yet people live here. They are Turkana tribe and are pastoralists. They live off their goats and the charcoal they collect and sell in the market for cooking. Our partner HHRD chose these villages 15 kilometers outside Isiolo as perfect places to drill boreholes, shallow wells and build latrines. They have a staff member who conducts hygiene education through song and skits, passing on the important message of the connection between health and hygiene. The only thing missing in HHRD’s WASH program? Soap. So Global Soap partnered with them to provide 160,000 bars for their efforts in Kenya. Now the people here have the soap and water they need, and we will be monitoring the health effects in the months to come.
Global Soap Sends 160,000 Bars of Soap to Refugees in Liberia
Last week, we sent 160,000 newly recycled bars of soap — that’s 40,000 pounds of soap — to refugee camps in Liberia! In partnership with CARE, the soap will be distributed over the next several months to individuals and families fleeing the political turmoil in the Ivory Coast. Because many people in refugee camps lack access to simple things, like soap, they’re at a much higher risk of contracting potentially lethal illnesses — which are totally preventable through handwashing with soap.
Liberia marks the 30th country to receive our soap. Stay tuned this summer for more updates on this new partnership!
Global Soap Expands Soap Recycling to Asia in Alliance with Soap Cycling
The Global Soap Project is excited to announce expansion of soap recycling into Asia in partnership with Hong Kong based Soap Cycling!
Soap Cycling is a charity that uses a similar model of hotel soap recycling and distribution to targeted global health programs in Asia. Founded in 2012, Soap Cycling is unique in that it also focuses on university student engagement. The organization’s work is carried out primarily through a team of dedicated student interns, providing valuable work experience while keeping operational costs low.
This is a great step toward increasing the amount of new soap available to global health programs while continuing to further decrease our collective environmental footprint by focusing recycling and distribution efforts in a geographically strategic manner.
For more information on Soap Cycling, visit www.soapcycling.org.
Dominican Republic In-Country Update
Our distribution partner World Water Relief (WWR) has an update for us! Since receiving the soap shipment last fall, 6000 students, teachers, administrators, janitors, and cooks in the Dominican Republic have benefited from the addition of soap to their WASH in Schools program. As you can see, they have developed a system whereby the soap is wrapped in mesh netting, tied to a rope, and then nailed to the wall above the drinking water stations. The soap bags are refilled each week.
Each of the schools working with WWR with receives hygiene education geared toward the youth the larger community.
Malawi In-Country Update
Earlier this month, our Executive Director, Sam Stephens, had a chance to visit one of our distribution partnerships in Malawi. The project is a collaborative effort between Global Soap, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and other leading health organizations, providing soap and hygiene education to more than 5,000 pregnant women and their families each month.
In Malawi, diarrhea and pneumonia are the leading cause of death in children, and the second leading cause of death in adults — and handwashing with soap is the most effective way to prevent those deaths. As part of the program — which focuses on education to improve health in the short term, while sustaining those results locally over time — Global Soap shipped 120,000 bars of soap to Malawi last year. So far, the outcomes are very encouraging. Diarrheal disease rates have decreased sharply, while overall community health has improved significantly. Perhaps most importantly, the program helps the recipients instill handwashing as a lifestyle routine, meaning they’ll continue to access soap locally and use it regularly after they complete the program. We’re delighted to be a part of such a great program improving health and saving lives in rural Malawi — and we’re grateful for your support in making it possible!
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
The Centers for Disease Control or Prevention or CDC has a division which focuses on access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene education to reduce illness and death from disease, leading to improved health, poverty reduction, and socio-economic development. The CDC engages in several programs around the world to protect communities and address challenges relating to WASH.
MedShare is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare and the environment through the efficient recovery and redistribution of the surplus of medical supplies and equipment to those most in need. We collect surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, medical distribution companies and individuals, and then redistribute them to qualified healthcare facilities in the developing world. We also outfit medical missions and safety net clinics in both the U.S. and abroad.
Partners in Health
PIH promotes community-based approach to health care and socioeconomic support in twelve countries around the world. They are driven by three goals: to care for their patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease, and to share lessons learned with other countries and NGOs. PIH brings the benefits of modern medicine to those most in need and work to alleviate the crushing economic and social burdens of poverty that exacerbate disease.