Derreck Kayongo holding up a repurposed bar of soap.
While at Evo Conference 2012 I was inspired by many, but one keynote speaker really lit up the room with his energy and cause, Derreck Kayongo from the Global Soap Project. Derreck survived a civil war in Uganda and a refugee camp in Kenya before finding his way to the United States. During his first night at a hotel here in the States, he was amazed at what he saw, three kinds of soap! Face soap, hand soap, and body soap. Coming from poverty, he did not know there were so many different kinds of soap. Derreck put a couple bars of soap in his bag and used the other. The next day all the soap was replaced. He ran to the front desk giving back his bars of soap and asked for the one he used back worried he would be charged for the soap. He learned hotels throw away the partially used bars of soap, a resource his country so desperately needed. That is when Derreck Kayongo came up with Global Soap Project.
Millions of children die each year because of sanitation issues, mainly because they don’t have soap to wash their hands. Derreck Kayongo’s Global Soap project is helping change that. The Global Soap Project uses bars of soap left behind at 900 participating hotels, cleans and sanitizes them, and then gives the bars of soap and sanitation education to countries in need.
Every day, almost 3 million bars of hotel soap are discarded. In the hands of vulnerable populations, that soap can decrease the rate of disease and death. – Global Soap Project
Derreck ended his speech with a song dedicated to a missionary named Marge that helped his family immigrate to the US and transition to American life. Derreck said, “She invested in me and gave me a chance. For all you mothers out there that invested in us as kids, your walk is not in vain. There is a Swahili song that I like to sing that says- In my heart, in my heart, I have such peace in my heart.” He then taught us how to sing the song. An amazing man with an amazing cause and heart.
Global Soap Project Derreck Kayongo singing, Moyoni