“The initial challenge is to develop a model that works, to test and refine it, and to adjust it as necessary when conditions change. Then, when you've proven that the model is effective, you roll it out in one district to another. At every stage you need to keep a close eye on results and be prepared to make necessary changes." Mohammed Yunus
This can only be accomplished by "planning our work and working our plan".....
Soap4Life has Re-defined Our Direction
Key Drivers of Maternal and Child Malnutrition in Laos
In Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 44% of children under 5 are classified as stunted, 27% are underweight and 6% suffer from wasting. Moderate malnutrition (MM) is defined as a weight-for-age more than two standard deviations below the World Health Organization (WHO) child growth standards median.
When children contract water-borne illness (diarrhea and intestinal problems, they become malnourished and possibly die.
Inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene practices, particularly use of appropriate treatment methods for unimproved water sources, access to hygienic sanitation facilities for removal of waste, and hand-washing practices.
Women and Disabled Persons are Targeted
Since 2014, Soap4Life has trained hundred's of women to make and sell natural soap products with ingredients gathered locally.
All of our students come from poor, rural areas of Laos, and many are also members of minority ethnic groups.
Our training program is 5 days long and the students reside in the Soap4Life dormitories (on site) for the duration of their training. Soap4Life covers the costs of training, training materials, meals and lodging as well as providing the graduate with equipment and supplies valued at over $200 allowing them to begin making and selling their natural soap products upon their return home.
The core component of the training is soapmaking, as this is a valuable skill in Laos. The students also receive training in a number of other areas, including social development and awareness, women’s civil rights, healthcare and hygiene, small business, marketing. Students also learn the basics of recycling to acquire some of the supplies and materials needed.
Our training programs are always flexible, in light of the abilities of the student and their job opportunities.
The training is designed to not only teach women with social and physical disabilities valuable income generating skills, but also to build their confidence and help them to become independent.
Helping Women Help Themselves
Since January 2014, Soap4Life Foundation has worked with local partners in Laos to ensure women’s ability to access their legal rights, increase their presence in leadership roles, and provide greater opportunities for women and girls to improve their lives by providing them with economic opportunities unavailable to them locally.
Women's Empowerment does not simply happen... it takes work, resources and recognition by the women to achieve this goal.
Lao is no different from developed countries...
Money rules and makes the rules
Soap4Life provides all the necessary components for women to make soap products which are sold in their local villages allowing the money to be recirculated within the community and not be sent to the foreign importers of the harsh chemically based soap products.
When women are the "money winners" in their families. saving increases allowing for better food purchases, education for their children and money for medical emergencies.