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SapoCycle: Using Soap to Save Lives

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In September 2014, Swiss-based SapoCycle was founded by Dorothée Schiesser-Peyrouzet, a remarkable woman who has changed many people’s lives. What is SapoCycle? Simply, it is “the first non-profit organization in Europe that collects discarded soaps in hotels and turns them into life-saving products. The soaps are recycled by people with disabilities and then distributed to improve sanitary conditions of families in need.”

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 1.7 million children under five years of age passed away in 2015 due to acute diarrhea and pneumonia, which are linked to unclean drinking water and poor hygiene practices. Up to 800 children per day could be saved if they could wash their hands properly. Every year, more than 5 million bars of barely used soap are thrown away from hotels in Switzerland. Ms. Schiesser knew that UNICEF and some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) had programs to spread the message of the importance of washing hands with soap in developing nations. She then thought about distributing recycled soap from hotels to these projects. This was when the idea of SapoCycle was sprouted.

Since its establishment, SapoCycle, with the help of other NGOs, has provided almost 150,000 bars of soaps to families in developing countries as well as in refugee camps. SapoCycle was founded upon three pillars that guide its project. The first pillar is Environmental. The program is helping to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere by recycling soap instead of burning it. The second pillar is Social Integration. The recycling workshops in France and Switzerland provide stable, meaningful jobs for local disabled adults, which bring them both income and happiness. The third pillar is Humanitarian Action. This is undoubtedly the most important pillar, as SapoCycle provides soap to people in need, and the product changes and saves many people’s lives.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: “Cheerfully present SapoCycle the Shining World Beneficial Action Award, plus US$10,000 as a humble token of support for your original good endeavor to help others and the environment. With sincere gratitude and love in Divine Splendor. May you, all involved, and wonder Switzerland always feel God’s Love.”
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