He wants to save the lives of children who live in extreme poverty.
What’s different about Derek’s idea, is that it’s so ridiculously simple it’s working, and every travel blogger out there, in fact every person who stays in a hotel, could help give it some momentum.
Derreck, who fled from the terror of civil war in Uganda, was horrified to learn on his first day in the US that the partially-used bar of soap in his hotel room was thrown away and replaced every day. He knew in the hands of the vulnerable, soap is a lifesaving precious resource. So he started collecting it and sending it back to the communities in Africa that have no soap, to kill the germs that kill over two million children every year.
If one bar of soap can save a life, imagine what 2.6 million can do.
That’s the number of bars Derreck worked out were thrown away in US hotel rooms alone EVERY DAY.
How can we say there are no resources globally to fight disease when we are throwing away one of them? he asked.
Derreck’s idea was born in that moment on the first day of his new life in the US and grew into the Global Soap Project. Each week, they collect partially used soap bars from over 1,000 hotels across North America, recycle them into new bars of soap, and distribute them to disaster victims, refugees, and people living in extreme poverty in 30 countries.
The leading causes of death in children globally – diarrhoea and pneumonia – are diseases that could be prevented with soap. Studies prove handwashing with soap can cut deaths from these diseases by nearly 50 percent.
It’s easy to register with the Global Soap Project. Hotels in the US, Asia and Europe see “How to ship” in the FAQs here. There are no fees for hoteliers to participate. Shipping costs are tax deductible. The program is embraced by employees and admired by guests. So just by passing on this message to every hotel you stay in, you could help save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.
When CNN gave Derreck a Hero’s Tribute – awarded to everyday people changing the world – he said:
If you encourage people to get involved then a wonderful thing will happen… you might help save a life
Take a few minutes to watch this video and if you are as moved as I am by the infectious personalty of Derreck Kayongo and the simplicity of his project, tell a hotelier and share this lifesaving soap story.