The Melbourne based not for profit organisation Soap Aid is combining innovation and philanthropy to tackle basic health issues in underdeveloped countries.
The Soap Aid project is recycling ‘waste soap’ collected from the hotel industry, reprocessing the used soap at a purpose built factory here in Melbourne and then distributing the soap to disadvantaged communities where sanitation is sub-standard. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than half the 9000 children who die each day from hygiene-related diseases in poor communities could be saved by washing their hands with soap. The innovative approach to recycling taken by Soap Aid not only provides a simple health solution but also ensures that this ‘waste soap’ does not end up in land fill.
A shipment of 140,000 bars of recycled soap recently left Melbourne and is due to arrive India this month. The bars will be distributed to 2000 disadvantaged families by the local Rotary group. A second shipment is expected to be sent to India later in the year. Soap Aid chief executive Michael Matulick has a vision that the innovative recycling project will expand globally with soap recycling facilities in other countries.
Watermark is a founding supporter of the Soap Aid project.