Projects to Send Soap to Developing Countries
In the U.S., over two million bars of hotel soap are thrown away every year. It is not universally known that hygiene products that are so often found in landfills can be repurposed.

The Clean the World nonprofit association partnered with the Global Soap Project (GSP) has since delivered more than 25 million bars of soap to developing countries. “We don’t just drop off soap and leave,” according to the partnership. “We’re creating a positive health impact that is sustained long-term by making hand-washing and local soap purchases a lifelong habit.”

The popular phrase “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime” plays into this project. There’s more to it than simply giving people soap. The two organizations are advocating for global hygiene education because good hygiene education (and, by extension, good hygiene) creates healthier communities.

Hotels can register at and are given instructions on how to send in their donations. The soap is grouped up and treated in a laboratory. Subsequently, bars are cut and sent to countries in need. Afterward, NGO partners send back results to GSP on distribution and hygiene education.

“To date, we’ve worked with partners in 32 countries to distribute lifesaving soap and hygiene education to vulnerable populations, including disaster victims, refugees, the homeless and mothers and children living in extreme poverty,” says GSP on its website. After these populations receive it, GSP and Clean the World makes sure that they have access to it for the rest of their lives. This creates an immediate health impact that not only supports local economies but also fosters independence on nonprofits and self-sustainability.

Anna Brailow

Sources: Clean the World, Global Soap 1, Global Soap 2, Global Soap 3, Global Soap 4
Photo: CNN

Global Soap Project Brings Hygeine to Those in Need
The Global Soap Project, an innovative non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia, recognizes the importance of good hygiene – and is using that to help poverty-stricken communities around the world stay clean.

Recognizing how many bars of soap North American hotel chains distribute, and how many of those go to waste each year, the Global Soap Project works to combine recycling with global health. The organization collects bars of soap from hotels that would otherwise be thrown away, sanitizes the used bar, and re-purposes this into new soap that is then distributed “to vulnerable populations around the world such as refugees, orphans, and disaster victims.”

The organization states that nearly two million used bars of soap are left in hotel rooms throughout North America every day, and have more than 1,100 participating hotels in the program. Although they do not accept soap from individuals and families, the Global Soap Project says that they have given out over one million bars of soap in over 29 countries since 2009, while at the same time keeping 250,000 pounds of soap out of American landfills.

More importantly, the Global Soap Project acknowledges that the use of soap can prevent death due to diarrhea and upper respiratory illnesses by up to 40 percent and that 1.4 million deaths can be prevented each year by washing hands with soap. Children are the main benefactor in the organization’s mission, as the leading cause of preventable deaths in African children is lack of sanitation and clean drinking water.

The Global Soap Project plans to deliver nearly two million bars of soap to communities in need throughout the world in 2013.

Christina Kindlon

Source: Global Soap Project