Benefit of recycling soap

Derreck Kayongo, founder of The Global Soap Project, explains how recycling soap is good for the environment and can help people in poor countries that do not access to have soap
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Benefit of recycling soap

The effects of throwing away soap into the environment is very, very important and serious. As I said before, there's 4.6 million hotels in this country and we throw away 2.6 million bars of soap every day. That is 800 million bars of soap every year. That doesn't include the shampoo bottles which are equally as destructive. So I think that when you throw that into the environment, soap is a chemical, yeah? It has perfume in it, it has color, it has glycerin and lye, and it's biodegradable, it's okay. But it becomes an aggregate, a solid aggregate. It starts to erode and infect our waters, our water table. That's not a good idea. But when we spread it all over the place and we take it Uganda, in Haiti, the effect is not as bad as throwing it all in New Jersey, for example. That's too much. So that's one way to look at it; there's an environmental aspect to it. But the other effect is that we tell people around the world that we don't have enough resources to provide things like soap. So then we have people who go without soap and then what happens is diseases become a norm. They fester. So then you hear more kids falling sick and more kids dying because they don't have soap, when actually there's a product right there we can give them. So we're trying to protect environmental degradation, but we're also trying to prevent diseases. So without doing that, then the disease become a problem and we lose more kids. 2 million kids every year. For maternal health, it's half a million women die every year because of maternal health. Meaning, if a woman doesn't wash their hands, if it's a midwife and they help a woman deliver, they put germs in her and they deliver the child and she dies. That's another effect. That's an impact. So I think recycling soap helps us solve those two things, and that's why this is important.

Derreck Kayongo, founder of The Global Soap Project, explains how recycling soap is good for the environment and can help people in poor countries that do not access to have soap


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Derreck Kayongo

Parent with a Purpose

Derreck Kayongo is a social entrepreneur and the founder of The Global Soap Project. An executive and development expert, Derreck Kayongo has more than 15 years experience developing strategic social campaigns within organizations for cause-related advocacy, public policy, issue management, and community organizing. His work has made a profound contribution in raising awareness aimed at realizing permanent solutions to global poverty.

Kayongo’s journey from child refugee to fearless visionary is filled with moments of inspiration (along with the benefits of good, old-fashioned sweat equity) that make him one of the most popular – and authentic – speakers on the circuit today. From Africa to Atlanta with nothing but a dream and tenacity, Kayongo beat the odds, earned an education, and has served in leadership roles in some of the world’s most respected non-governmental agencies (NGOs) since 1994. Today, he shares his vivacious spirit and invaluable experience in the areas entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, global health, social justice and professional engagement with audiences in both the corporate and not-for-profit worlds.

Derreck Kayongo’s ability to motivate others to understand the role their work and skills can play in problem solving is one of the many reasons he was chosen as a finalist for the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year AwardAdd to that the mantra of being a voice for the voiceless through his noble work of giving back, including dedicating his life to improving the lives of marginalized and vulnerable people across the globe: he has worked with the American Friends Service Committee as Program Director for the Southeast Peace Education program; joined Amnesty International as the Director of the Southeast Region; and currently serves as Senior Advocacy Coordinator for the Southeast region with CARE International.

In 2009, Kayongo and his wife Sarah embarked on a new journey pursuing their life-long passion of starting an NGO of their own. The Global Soap Project focuses on repurposing partially-used soap from hotels into new soap for needy populations, particularly in Africa. To date, The Global Soap Project has been able to donate 9,000 bars of soap to Swaziland, 5,000 bars to Kenya, 10,000 to Ghana, 1,000 to Uganda and another 3,000 to Haiti.

Derreck Kayongo is a proud naturalized U.S. citizen. He has been recognized as a 2011 CNN HEROES finalist and a COX Enterprise nominee; honored by Congressman John Lewis with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition; is currently writing his autobiography; has been featured in more than 20 news stories in the U.S., featured on Fox News as part of the Real American story series; featured on CNN with Fredricka Whitfield.

Since 1994, Derreck Kayongo has given more than 300 speeches on key issues related to poverty reduction in Africa; mainly on water and sanitation, soap, HIV/AIDS, Child Soldiers, Health and Sanitation, Impact of Landmines in Africa, Countries in Conflict and role of basic Education for Girls in Africa.

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