And now, huzzah for life-saving soap

EcoSoapBankBelieve it or not, but there’s actually a lot of good news out there, on both micro and macro levels. People helping other people, sacrificing their time, money, or even their lives for others. The thing is, sometimes you have to dig for the positive stories.

Out of this seeming dearth of positivity and light, Damyanti at the Daily (w)rite brainchilded and then created the We Are the World Blogfest (WATWB).

WATWB (or #WATWB in twitterspeak) aims to take the digging out of the equation. That’s less hassle and more heart-warmers and smiles for you!

On the last Friday of every month, anyone who’d like to participate and link up to the We are the World Blogfest can do so—provided you have a positive news story to share with others. As I understand it, the WATWB story does not have to be one you reported on, but more like a feel-good piece of information or narrative you’d pass along to a friend or relative to cheer them up or inform them.

Soap pumperI recently read about an organization that is addressing some of my favorite subjects—bacteria, viruses, and epidemiology—in a very tangible and humanitarian way. It’s called the Eco-Soap Bank. You might have seen this organization or its founder, Samir Lakhani,  reported on in various media, because of his recent CNN Heroes award.

In short, when Mr. Lakhani was studying in Cambodia he observed a baby being soaped up in a bathtub with common laundry detergent, because normal bar or hand soap is prohibitively expensive in poor areas of the world. Soap is a basic barrier to blocking disease, and hand-washing a seemingly simple action to prevent disease spread, especially waterborne disease. Did you know that diarrheal diseases KILL approximately 525,000 children worldwide under the age of 5 years every single year (World Health Organization, May 2017 data)? Of course, this problem is accentuated in some parts of the world with less or even no access to clean drinking water, vaccines, and something as taken-for-granted (by most of us) as soap.

Well, Samir saw that need and he tackled it by founding Eco-Soap Bank, which addresses three problems at once. First, it recycles old soap from hotels and other donors that would otherwise go to waste (pulling collected scraps together that are then thoroughly sanitized). Second, the soap bank provides jobs and education to women in so-called developing countries so they can fully care for their families. And third, that recycled, sanitized soap freely goes out to hospitals, schools, and communities that would not otherwise have access to or be able to afford it. So far, Samir’s Eco-Soap Bank organization has donated sanitized soap to a projected 661,000 people and counting (recycling 24,000-plus pounds of soap in the process).

My final thought is, simply enough: Wow! If young people like Samir are in charge of our planet from here on out, the future looks much healthier and brighter indeed.

If you’d like to help Eco-Soap Bank or find out more about their efforts, please visit their Web site.

Likewise, Damyanti features a ton of other wonderful and worthy news contributed by co-hosts and friends. Get in on the good news the last Friday of every month!

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8 thoughts on “And now, huzzah for life-saving soap

  1. This doesn’t half make me appreciate my soap. I think that, historically, it’s only a relatively recent things for the majority of people even in the West to have soap. I’m sure that in Victorian times it was only the privileged few who did — when they bothered to wash, that is!
    Thanks for your informative post.

  2. I had no idea soap could be recycled. I was sadly aware of the deaths form diarrhea in third world countries. What a brilliant initiative. It brightened my day immensely to read a good news story.

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