Updated: May 2
As more countries are now closer to containing the novel coronavirus, the donning of face masks may soon become unnecessary, but frequent hand-washing remains an important part of our daily life. The increased awareness of its antibacterial quality has also made soap a new essential item at households all over the world.
Yet in the world we live in today, many people are still dying from preventable diseases due to the lack of access to soap.
According to statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO), in developing countries, approximately 5 million children under the age of 5 die from malaria, pneumonia, or diarrhea every year. In 2017 alone, there were 219 million cases of malaria worldwide, among which 435,000 lost their lives, due to poor hygiene and the unavailability of soap for hand-washing. It turns out, the simple act of washing our hands with soap after using the toilet or before meals can drastically reduce the risks of contracting malaria, pneumonia, or diarrhea, thereby reducing death rates by half.
Soap! It's THAT important!
The humble soap bar, while an everyday item for most of us, can mean the difference between life and death for people without access to sanitary resources.
When we learned that most of the cases of malaria in 2017 occurred in Africa and Southeast Asia, Soap Cycling felt that it was our obligation to distribute soap bars to Cambodia.
The novel coronavirus outbreak once again highlighted the inequalities in the world and the poor hygiene conditions in certain parts of Southeast Asia, as well as some rural areas in China. In partnership with the Wu Zhi Qiao (Bridge to China) Charitable Foundation, Soap Cycling recently arranged for a distribution of 3,500 soap bars to seven rural villages in Gansu, Guangxi, Hebei, Chongqing, and Xianxi, to ensure the local residents can protect themselves and their communities against the virus by washing their hands with soap.
About Wu Zhi Qiao (Bridge to China) Charitable Foundation Registered as a charity in Hong Kong in 2007, Wu Zhi Qiao (Bridge to China) Charitable Foundation encourages volunteering among university students in Hong Kong and Mainland China, to design and build environmentally-friendly footbridges and village facilities in remote and impoverished villages in China.
This is to serve the goals of fostering better communication, mutual understanding and integration between Hong Kong and the Mainland; improving the lives of people in remote and impoverished areas in China; inspiring respect, appreciation, and preservation of local culture and environment while promoting sustainability; and providing university students with a real-life experience of executing a service project that has direct impact.
About Soap Cycling Soap Cycling is a nonprofit organization that works with the hospitality industry to collect, process, and distribute lightly-used soap bars and bottled amenities. These life-saving items are then distributed to disadvantaged communities around the world to provide people with the means to protect themselves from malaria and pneumonia.
Soap Cycling currently works with a network of over 200 hotel partners in Hong Kong, China, and overseas, and our impactful work has benefited communities in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Cambodia, and Cameroon.