The Atlanta-based nonprofit Global Soap Project is sending 160,000 bars of soap to Sierra Leone to help combat the West African nation’s largest cholera outbreak in 40 years.
Some 18,500 cases of cholera have been reported, leading to 271 deaths, according to a news release.
Hand washing is key to stopping the spread of the disease, said Sam Stephens, executive director of the Global Soap Project. In addition to sending 20 tons of soap, the project is partnering with other groups to show recipients how to use it.
“Hygiene education will be conducted by the hospital staff so that the recipients understand how and why to use the soap to prevent the contraction of cholera,” Mr. Stephens added in the release.
Global Soap was founded in 2009 by Derreck Kayongo, an employee at Atlanta-based humanitarian group CARE.
Mr. Kayongo lived in refugee camps in Uganda before coming to America, where he was shocked by the amount of lightly used soap thrown away at hotels. He began a quest to collect and distribute this surplus to impoverished countries.
Last year, the project received a $1 million grant and logistical assistance from Hilton Worldwide. It produces 30,000 bars of soap per week in Atlanta and has distributed soap to needy people in 28 countries, mostly in Africa and the Caribbean.
Visit http://www.globalsoap.org for more information.