According to World Vision, Somalia is among the most fragile countries in the world. Ravaged by drought, poverty, violence and political instability, Somalia’s vulnerable children are suffering acute malnutrition, cholera and intestinal diseases. Over 65% of reported cases of cholera are children under five years.
Soap Aid recently donated more than 50,000 recycled soap bars to support the World Vision and UNICEF WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) Program. These lifesaving bars were distributed to families and communities in the Jariban District, located in the north central region of Puntland, Somalia. Our soap has been used in various program interventions to improve hygiene and sanitation in schools and health centres. Our donation helps empower students to promote good hand washing in their families and communities providing positive, long term health outcomes.
Looking for that extra special Christmas gift this year?
‘Sockos Australia’ makes and sells unique socks, donating some of the profits to causes that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This year Sockos has created ‘The Soap Sock’ and $3 from each pair of socks sold will be donated to Soap Aid to support our humanitarian and environmental efforts. Receive 15% discount. Order by 20 December and use promotion code ‘SOAP’ at checkout. Visit socks.com.au and purchase your socks today!
Congratulations to all the hotels around Australia who have been busy saving and collecting discarded soap this year. The amazing efforts from housekeeping teams, and committed managers and executives, help us provide critically needed soap to children and communities. Soap Aid is receiving increased requests for soap each week. Our 2018 soap donations already include Cambodia, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Somalia and Malawi. Together let’s make December a record-breaking month for soap collections so that we can send soap to these communities and many more.
Today many people in Australia have not heard of trachoma – a contagious bacterial eye infection that causes extreme inflammation, which can lead to blindness. Trachoma is a serious but preventable infection that is currently endemic in some remote indigenous communities.
Soap Aid has proudly partnered with the WA Country Health Service and will provide support by providing soap and education resources as part of the ‘Squeaky Clean Kids’ Program an initiative aiming to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases in remote communities, specifically targeting trachoma infections.
The ‘Squeaky Clean Kids’ program has been developed as part of WA Country Health Service’s WA Trachoma Control Program. It aims to strengthen environmental health and health promotion and build capacity in communities affected by trachoma.
The goal is to reach 63 remote Aboriginal communities across the Kimberley, Pilbara, Midwest and Goldfields with populations of up to 19,500 across schools, households and community facilities. Soap Aid will be providing recycled soap and hygiene education resources to help reduce the spread of preventable infectious diseases and improve hygiene practices.
The important aims of the ‘Squeaky Clean Kids’ Program are to:
– Reduce the incidence of Trachoma and other diseases (skin infection and diarrhoea) influenced by the environmental health determinants.
– Overcome a common barrier to good hygiene practices in remote Aboriginal communities, particularly the cost of soap, by providing a consistent supply of free soap to all households and facilities for a two-year period.
– Provide health promotion resources to promote messages about hygiene, particularly hand and face washing to school children, to support the provision of free soap.
Global Handwashing Day is a worldwide advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases.
Handwashing is essential for strong healthcare systems. In a survey of healthcare facilities in 54 countries, the World Health Organization and UNICEF recently found that 35% did not have soap and water for handwashing. This represents a serious risk to both patients and healthcare providers. Good hygiene is necessary for good nutrition, particularly for children in the first 1,000 days of life. And, handwashing stations in schools can both help reduce absenteeism and enable girls to manage their menstrual cycles safely and with dignity.
In February 2016, areas of Fiji were left devastated in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston, the worst recorded cyclone in Fiji’s history. Cyclone Winston tore apart communities and left an extraordinarily high number of people in the region requiring urgent aid.
Hygiene and sanitation are extremely important in preventing the spread of infections and diseases after a tragic event such as Tropical Cyclone Winston. Soap Aid immediately responded by sending 50,000 bars of urgently needed soap to support relief efforts in the region. This extraordinary effort was achieved through the valued partnerships Soap Aid formed with Live & Learn, CARE Australia, and Virgin Australia.
All soap bars provided by Soap Aid have now reached severely affected households and communities in Fiji. Through partners Live & Learn and CARE Australia, hygiene kits have been distributed to households in Naviti and the Magodro district. Additionally, Emergency School Hygiene kits across four schools on the western island of Naviti have been stocked with lifesaving soap and distributed to 350 boys and 261 girls ensuring infections and illnesses are minimised.