Global Soap Project Derreck Kayongo | Evo Conference 2012
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Global Soap Project – Derreck Kayongo | Evo Conference 2012

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

image from the 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

The next time you are traveling, give this brochure to the hotels front desk and ask them to be a part of the Global Soap Project.  That one small step can help save millions of lives!

Global Soap Project Twitter

Global Soap Project Facebook 


Lauren is the owner and writer for Crazy About My Baybah. She is a mom that is crazy about her family, art, photography, getting fit, Disney, and living in Las Vegas.

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  1. Zipporah Sandler says:

    I travel so much, I need to get on board and do this.

  2. What an awesome cause!! We Americans have so much to be thankful for and regretfully, we forget little things like a hotel bar of soap and what it would mean to others.

  3. What an amazing project. It is sad how we take for granted something that could help others thousands of miles away.

  4. I love this! It has always seemed so wasteful to me. Thank goodness some of our nations wasteful ways are being used to the benefit of others!

  5. I love this idea! So Inspiring and very eye opening! Something as simple as soap can be live saving….and be something most of us take for granted…

  6. I had no idea about that project. So amazing! I’m going to print that brochure to have on hand. I hope we can all make a difference for the global soap project!

  7. What an amazing concept! I wonder if travelers can donate the soap they collect at hotels and don’t use?

    • They just use the partially used ones from the hotels. They mix the soap in big batches of the same kind of soap so the pH balance is not destroyed. They need large quantities of the same kind of soap, so families can help out by telling their hotel about the Global Soap Project!

  8. VERY cool program. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Anne - Mommy Has to Work says:

    Wow, I never knew!

  10. Terrific cause and a good reminder for us as Americans to stop being so wasteful.

  11. Wow. I will never look at soap the same way again!

  12. Wow! I love hearing ways to turn wasteful habits into meaningful, positive impact. This is such a good cause!

  13. What a lovely cause (and he sounds so special, his song made me cry)…what a wonderful time! And it’s true, simply washing your hands can SAVE LIVES, it turns out that simple hygienic procedures was one of the biggest strides hospitals ever made in not making people who come in sick get everyone else sick (Once upon a time, a knife used in someone’s surgery was then used for the next person without being sterilized, or even cleaned, because people didn’t know- today we know, but not everyone has the resources to be sterile and hygienic)…Yeah for this cause!

  14. I never thought about that, but it makes so much sense! Fantastic cause. Truly.

  15. There are so many things we throw away and take advantage off. I understand the reason as here in the US no one wants to use someone “elses” soap because we have that luxury but how inspiring that just saving the unused soap is helping others.

  16. Wow, thanks for telling us a new way we can help. I had no idea you could resanitize soap. Interesting.

  17. Such an inspiring person and a fantastic post! Thanks for helping spread awareness for this worthy cause!

  18. Wow what a great thing. With traveling as much as I do I need to print that brochure out. Thanks for the info!

  19. kristin says:

    I just love the concept of this!!

  20. What a touching story! It’s amazing what we take for granted.

  21. What a wonderful program! I love this idea. I didn’t know it was possible to sanitize soap and donate it. So glad to hear this is a possibility!

  22. That is so cool!

  23. its great to see someone who appreciates what his mother does for him and thanks all the mothers out there

  24. He was so amazing to listen to, such a powerful storyteller, and proof one person can make a big change!

  25. Wow…I always think about food waste from places like hotels and restaurants, but never imagined all the wasted soap! Thanks so much for sharing this…

  26. What a fantastic program! An inspiration!

  27. Wow, I love this. I got goosebumps and I’m going to share this cause with the hotels I stay at.

  28. This has brought me to tears. It is amazing to think that something we here in the US take for granted is so valuable on other countries across the globe! Thank you so mug for hating this experience.

  29. This is fascinating and such a great cause.

  30. What a great cause!

  31. Thanks for the incredible inspiration.

  32. What an amazing project. It is sad how we take for granted something so small.

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