In India the Sundara Fund project has produced over 8,000 bars of soap and impacted more than 6,000 lives. The project works to combat preventable hygiene related deaths through upcycling some of the billions of soap bars thrown away by hotels every year. The soap is saved before reaching landfills, cleaned, sanitised, and made safe to use again.
This holistic approach relies on community members for leadership, creating jobs for women and focusing on intensive hygiene education in a sustainable movement to reduce preventable deaths and disease. Local women are the backbone of this project, gaining economic and social empowerment, and becoming influential community hygiene ambassadors.
Sundara is active in Myanmar and Uganda and plans to expand further in the future. According to The World Health Organisation, hundreds of millions of people worldwide die each year as a result of preventable diseases linked to poor hygiene. With the help of Sundara this figure looks set to change. The project has only a handful of employees and is currently active in just 30 schools and community centres in India. Yet already, Sundara has been able to communicate the importance of handwashing to over 4,000 children. Even small initiatives can affect change and transform lives.
Erin Zaikis, Founder
USA (New York)