Most of us start the day feeling fresh by showering with soap. But for millions around the world, lathering up is a luxury.
Now that I am a Mom, I feel it is important to teach my son that not everyone has all of their basic necessities met. After visiting India, it became even more apparent to me that there are so many millions suffering because they lack access to the things we take for granted.
Unilever estimates that in India alone there are 70 million people who have never used soap. Washing hands with soap is an effective way to prevent childhood death, according to Erin Zaikis, founder of Sundara.
Sundara runs a soap recycling program in Mumbai, a teeming city of millions with half of the population living in squalid slums.
Sundara teamed up with 45 Indian luxury hotels like the Taj to collect used soap that would have otherwise ended up in the garbage and has hired local women to sanitize and recycle the soap into new bars. These women hand out the new suds to their impoverished communities and teach them about hygiene. As of 2017, Sundara says 341, 723 new bars of soap have been made.
Zaikis says close to two million kids die each year in the developing world because of preventable hygiene related illnesses like diarrhea and pneumonia. “Soap is a low cost, low technology way to save lives and empower children to take their health into their own hands,” says Zaikis.
The organization also trains teachers and community leaders about hygiene so that they can pass on helpful information to close to 51, 200 kids.
“Women are passionate about creating a healthier future for their children,” says Zaikis.
Want to get your hands into this clean project? Contact Sundara to find out how you can help.