A Different Birthday Wish- By Sundara
“Chocolate cake, a night out with friends, and a wish list of must-have presents—sound like the perfect birthday celebration? For many it is— but this year, Sundara had a different vision for our birthday.
With the help of the team members at Soapbox, we commemorated our first birthday on May 7th 2016 by officially opening our second soap-recycling workshop in Ashte, India— a tribal village four hours outside of Mumbai.
As the Sundara and SoapBox group stepped off our bus into the scorching 100 degree heat, we were greeted by dozens of women dancing in circles, men playing traditional drums, marigold garlands tossed over our necks, and hundreds of children sitting outside, smiling and chattering excitedly! The whole village came out for the inauguration of the Sundara work center!
Why did we choose Ashte? Other than rice farming, there are few job opportunities in this village. The average adult in the village makes between $1 and $1.50 per day. This isn’t enough to provide for their families, so many say goodbye to their neighbors and traditions as they are forced to migrate to the over populated Mumbai. As adults leave the village, they bring their children and parents with them and the village population decreases – with entire villages like Ashte being wiped out in just a few years.
We wanted to make a small but important step in breaking the cycle of constant migration into overcrowded cities like Mumbai by setting up a workshop in Ashte itself. We are breathing life back into this community with your help. Now, hygiene education will be taught to an additional 500 children each day. 2000 additional bars of soap will be produced each month. Three more women have been hired as our hygiene ambassadors, recycling soap every day. Each woman is paid a wage triple of what an average woman in Ashte makes, allowing them to take care of their households and be the breadwinner. None of this would’ve happened without YOUR support.
With every bar of Soapbox soap you purchase, you help thousands of children and families take their health into their own hands. You help provide women with fair wages and dignified employment. You help spread the importance of hand hygiene knowledge and increase access to bar soap. Thank you for helping us make our birthday wish come true!”
Who is Sundara?
Sundara opens and runs soap recycling organizations with the help of local community members. It was founded on the belief that preventable hygiene related deaths should not be happening anywhere in the world today. We work with the ‘poorest of the poor’ – traditionally underserved populations in developing countries whose risk of death from diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia is the highest. We combine our hygiene initiatives with community education, environmental preservation and female empowerment whenever possible to ensure holistic public health solutions for these communities in need.