HealthHygiene-related illnesses cause more than 1.8 million deaths worldwide and the Global Soap Project (GSP) is taking a stand to reduce this number by taking advantage of the 2.6 million bars of soap are thrown away in hotels daily.

Founder Derreck Kayongo was inspired to provide hope to refugees around the world with his own experience as a refugee when he fled a civil war in Uganda for the U.S. at age ten.” Ask any refugee anywhere in the world, they’ll tell you that they lose dignity right off the bat,”  Kayongo stated in a passionate talk hosted by Keppler Speakers.

Since its inception in 2009, GSP has been improving the lives of people in 32 countries by distributing clean soap and educating communities on hygiene. The life-saving organization targets victims of disaster, refugees, the homeless and mothers and children living in extreme poverty. The goal? Making an impact on global health.

The Global Soap Project has implemented educational programs providing access to information otherwise unattainable, such as how and when to use soap and its importance to sanitation, hygiene and long-term health. The GSP and its partner, Clean the World, collects unused soap from hundreds of hotels that have united with the organization.

Then, GSP recycles and redistributes them, with help from organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Partners in Health and CARE.

The organization has created a micro-loan program that offers financial and training support to local, small-scale soap makers. To support this initiative, hotels send boxes of unused soap to GSP, where they are recycled, inspected and given to NGO’s for shipment to affiliations in impoverished areas.

NGO’s are not charged for the provided soap. After distribution, NGO partners relay reports of successful dispersion and educational programs. In Kenya, the Global Soap Project has had a sizable impact. The organization distributed soap to more than 300 families in Lindi, located within one of the largest slums in Africa. GSP also allocated soap to 1,320 students in Kenya.

According to the GSP, a head teacher from a receiving school, commented on the organization’s success and expressed gratefulness. He stated, “Most of my kids know how to use soap after toilet, after eating, after playing, after classes, and you will find them with soap in their hands and in school compound. So thank you HHRD and GSP for this so unique gift, because it has brought a big impact in our school.”

Within the international community, world health has been a topic of concern. The World Bank has worked with organizations such as WHO and UNICEF gathering the most recent information about hygiene in developing and impoverished areas.

According to the World Bank, hygiene and hand washing have an immense impact on the quality of health and the ability to avoid deadly sicknesses like diarrhea and pneumonia. With over 4 billion cases of diarrhea per year, about 1.6 million of those are found in children under the age of five.

The GSP’s ideals are solidified by the World Bank, as it is suggested that, “public health promotion and education strategies are needed to change behaviors.” School health programs are imperative in ensuring that students have sanitation standards that can be translated into community principals.

The organization promotes involvement by accepting donations and volunteers and makes it easy for hotels to contribute. It has grown exponentially, expanding as a global leader in health promotion and implementation and continues to serve around the world. “Our soap doesn’t just mean health,” Kayongo says, “it means hope.”

Kimber Kraus

Photo: Flickr


Top 10 Global Poverty Nonprofits
Let’s begin with the obvious, all of us at The Borgen Project… are big fans of The Borgen Project. Our bias aside, below is a list of 10 of the top global poverty nonprofits and their commendable work.


Top Global Poverty Nonprofits


1. The Borgen Project – The Borgen Project has taken the plight of the world’s poor to the political level. With access to most members of Congress and an advocacy network of volunteers in every state, The Borgen Project is considered one of the most politically influential organizations fighting for the world’s poor.

2. ONE Campaign – ONE Campaign uses grassroots and advocacy to raise awareness and money to help put a stop to global poverty. They mainly focus their attention on those living in impoverished conditions in Africa.

3. Global Giving – Global Giving is a charity fundraising web site that gives nonprofits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities. Since 2002, the project has raised $114,889,647 from 392,257 donors and has supported 10,252 projects.

4. UNICEF – UNICEF is one of the largest nonprofit organizations and it is dedicated to helping children in need. UNICEF does so much for children around the globe, all while promoting education for girls and better health for pregnant women.

5. Partners in Health – Partners in Health is another nonprofit much like [email protected], which is geared towards providing a better quality of living and preventing disease. Partners in Health partners with doctors and health institutions across the globe to provide much needed relief for people who would otherwise be unable to afford health care.

6. GiveWell – GiveWell is a combination of several top rated charities all over the world. Most, if not all, of these charities provide relief for impoverished people in every nation.

7. CARE – CARE wants to cut poverty off at its roots. This nonprofit provide tools for people who are at a higher risk of falling into poverty and they help them to be successful and rise above the poverty within their nations.

8. Life in Abundance – Life in Abundance is a Christian-run organization that mobilizes churches and missionaries alike to provide relief for those who are suffering. This nonprofit wants to provide a healthier lifestyle to those who are living in poverty.

9. International Rescue Committee – The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives to prevent global poverty. The nonprofit was founded in 1933 due to a request from Albert Einstein himself. The IRC has since offered lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

10. [email protected] – [email protected], while not primarily putting an end to global poverty, is trying to eradicate one facet of it. [email protected] is a nonprofit that provides vaccinations for those less fortunate so they will not be plagued by preventable diseases.



Sources:, CARE, GiveWell, Global Giving, International Rescue Committee, Life in Abundance, Partners in Health, Philanthropedia, The Borgen Project, UNICEF
Photo: The Guardian

The idea of health care is very different for people all across the globe. For those living in developed countries, the benefits of accessible health care improve the quality of human life dramatically. When a person isn’t feeling good and wishes to get treatment, they can go to the doctor and get the medicine they need. When an emergency or health scare impacts a family, immediate support can help save lives. But what about those without access to these resources? Help in these situations can be much more difficult to receive. Developing countries often don’t have any ability to receive treatment from doctors and emergency services.

Partners in Health looks to provide that support to those unable to receive health care. Founded in 1987 to assist indigenous citizens of Haiti, PIH feels it is their moral duty to treat the sick in poor regions worldwide. With the support of official international health institutions and thousands of generous donors, PIH has the resources ready to address those in need immediately. The organization received nearly 64 million US dollars in charitable donations in 2011 alone.

Their work vastly covers an array of health concerns. PIH holds programs in cancer and disease, cholera, HIV/AIDs, surgical procedures, maternal and child health, and mental health fields. These programs treat those in need in places such as Haiti, Rwanda, Mexico, Peru, and many other countries. The impact of the foundation of health centers and hospitals in these international communities is enormous.

People worldwide live daily at risk to diseases and changes in health. What separates some citizens from others is the ability to treat these problems right when they happen. Partners in Health is an organization determined to make sure every global citizen has the same access to health care and treatment. For more information on how you can make a donation and become involved with this important organization, visit

William Norris

Sources: Partners in Health, Charity Navigator
Photo: Aid for Africa

Last Sunday, the Brookings Institute held its 10th annual Blum Conference on global development. This year, the conference emphasized the increasingly significant role of the private sector in lifting the world out of poverty.

Currently, 1.2 billion people still languish in extreme poverty, which is defined as living on less than $1.25 a day. The head of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, recently made sweeping promises that by 2030, that number will have dwindled to less than 300 million. And, by all appearances, Kim’s claim has a solid basis: in the past decade, global extreme poverty rates have been cut in half.

The recent Brookings conference in Aspen, Colorado confirms that hope. And, more importantly, it lays out the path to achieve it: by engaging the private sector on a large scale. World leaders like Partners in Health co-founder Paul Farmer, UN Human Rights commissioner Mary Robinson, and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice used their voices on Sunday to reinforce this principle. Major development agencies have already been operating with this idea, including USAID which leveraged over $525 million in private investment last year alone.

The road forward, however, contains many obstacles. Homi Kharas, the author of Brookings’ policy brief, “Reimagining the Role of the Private Sector in Development,” lays out three major hurdles for partnerships between the private sector and the public, academic, and civil sectors.

The first is the massive project of adapting to private funding in development. As part of the process, Kharas recommends that development agencies project “leverage ratios” that link public dollars to private dollars. He applauds the Power Africa Act for using $7 billion in government spending to guarantee $9 billion in private investment pledges.

Secondly, innovation is the key to increasing agricultural productivity and improving access to necessities like water and medicine. Kharas argues that public subsidies for private-led innovation in these areas need to increase to harness the creative power of for-profit businesses.

Finally, Kharas suggests that perhaps the greatest obstacle to engagement is mistrust of private companies by public and civil actors. To build confidence and pave the way for future partnerships, companies need to make their footprints and supply chains more transparent.

“Every high-level development report and project now has private sector involvement,” wrote Kharas. “The time is ripe to systematize this approach and experiment with new forms of partnerships.”

– John Mahon

Sources: Devex, Brookings
Photo: Carnegie

While many human rights activists address a wide spectrum of issues, Paul Farmer focuses his efforts on an often-overlooked human right – the right to health.

Farmer is a medical anthropologist at Harvard Medical School and the founding director of Partners in Health, an international organization that seeks to address the health problems of the poor. An enthusiastic human rights advocate, Farmer believes that human rights organizations have focused too much on political and civil rights, which cannot be enjoyed when people lack access to basic healthcare and nutrition.

Farmer says that his experience working as a doctor in countries like Haiti and Rwanda revealed to him that ill health is usually “a symptom of poverty and violence and inequality” that can only be remedied by “bringing…many others” into a movement to recognize basic human rights.

Farmer points out that many of his patients “can vote but…can’t get medical care or clean water,” highlighting the discrepancy between the constitutional rights of the world’s poor and the basic human right to health that they are regularly denied. So how, when millions of people die each year due to poverty-induced ill health, can the global community even begin to establish health as a fundamental and inalienable human right?

Farmer says that the key is to “go to people with power and try to get their help.” He acknowledges that Partners in Health and similar aid organizations cannot singlehandedly establish health as a globally-recognized human right, but ordinary people can make a difference in the lives of the world’s poor and sick simply by letting those in power know they care.

While the poverty and illness present in the world may appear overwhelming, Farmer stresses that we must not assume that those in power will not help. In order to change the world, though, we have to ask.

Katie Bandera

Sources: NPR, NY Times, WHO
Photo: The Daily Beast

Jim Yong Kim
CARABAYLLO, Peru — This week, the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, returned to the small village of Carabayllo in Peru, where he has been working for many years to reduce Tuberculosis. Kim co-founded the health NGO, Socios en Salud (SES), in 1994, and has since served an estimated population of 700,000 inhabitants of small shantytowns around the capital, Lima. A sister organization of Partners in Health (PIH), the history of SES provides a poignant lesson on fighting poverty.

When SES was founded, its main focus was primary healthcare, but this changed when a Boston priest working in Carabayllo died of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). President Kim launched an investigation, which soon found many others in the region suffering from drug-resistant TB. From there on, the organization came up against many challenges.

The government initially refused to treat the TB patients, and when they did agree, the costs were huge. After securing funding from a Boston philanthropist, 75 people suffering from MDR-TB were treated. In such a poor community, this was almost unprecedented. Only in Haiti had a small group of people been successfully treated in a similar setting. But, after four months of treatment, 90% of the patients in Carabayllo no longer had infectious TB, and it was this success that led the World Bank to support MDR-TB treatment in the developing world.

President Kim visited the small village in Peru, and made acute observations about the needs of the community, acknowledging that the fight against MDR-TB was not only a medical problem, but a social justice problem, too. Jamie Bayona, co-founded of SES, said of President Kim “his approach was fixing the problem from the root, not just from what was bothering them on the surface. Socios treated people, and also offered counseling, job training, and food packets.”

This represented a learning curve for both President Kim and the World Bank. Kim said in an interview that the World Bank is not just about financing and macro-economic policy, but also about working in communities like Carabayllo to address issues of poverty, and find lasting solutions. In addition to treating people with MDR-TB, SES took the decision to go one step further – to provide food, shelter and emotional support. “Doing all those things was a litmus test, a test for society. If [societies] could do that, my goodness, what else could you do for people and for the world?” Kim concluded.

– Chloe Isacke

Source: World Bank