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Every year, 1.4 million children are dying from largely preventable diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea, but they could be greatly reduced by a very straightforward solution – handwashing. Handwashing with soap and water is proved to eliminate germs including viruses and is the basic of good hygiene. Even if it is a used soap bar, it is still simple, cost effective and a proven lifesaver, because soap bars cannot transmit disease. However, there are a lot of impoverished communities in the world that cannot afford soap, soap is a luxury rather than a necessity. Handwashing with soap, critical in the fight against coronavirus, is ‘out of reach’ for billions. On the other hand, hotels around the world throw 5 million soap bars in the bin daily, and end up wastefully filling landfills. This is a disaster for the environment and a social travesty given that many people around the world are going without proper sanitation.
Soap Cycling SOAPer School Program aims to fight COVID-19 in Asia with the personal hygiene promotion and distribution of the free hygiene kits with soap for better health of students who are studying in rural schools. Soap Cycling will team up volunteers and collaborate with local partners to visit the rural and support teachers to promote personal hygiene. The team will interact with the students through funny games, demonstration and sharing. With the facilities such as toilet posters and educational comic books, the team will educate students with proper personal hygiene knowledge, particularly correct procedure of handwashing, and hopes them to sustain the good behavior to protect themselves and their families. To reinforce the program’s purpose and spread the hygiene message to students’ family, students will receive the free hygiene kits with soap. “SOAPer School Program” hopes to visit 190 schools, reach 19,000 students and provide them with enough soap for 1 year. For more information on our work, refer to our slide deck here.