Anyone who has ever stayed in a hotel has unwrapped a tiny bar of soap, used part of it, and left the rest behind. With millions of people staying in hotels, that’s a lot of soap going to waste.
All that waste bothered Derreck Kayongo when the young man emigrated from Kenya to the United States. His family had been refugees since 1979, when they fled Idi Amin’s horrific regime in Uganda. Derreck knew firsthand the challenges of sanitation in a refugee camp, where clean water and soap are precious and scarce. In his new country, instead of saving lives, the hotel soap was ending up in landfills.
So in 2009 he and his wife started the Global Soap Project. What a simple and brilliant idea. Approach hotels, asking them to gather up the soap. Process the soap so that it is safe and hygienic. Ship it to refugee camps.
Global Soap’s FAQ explains more of the details. It is one of those brilliant ideas that make you slap your head and ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Derreck Kayongo, you are one special guy. You have come up with a scheme that not only decreases the amount of stuff added to landfills but saves children’s lives.
You give me hope.
Meet Derreck and Sarah Kayongo in the video below and learn more about the origins of the project.