Soap Club

April 28, 2017
SHARON RADISCH FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS WITHOUT BORDERS

Find out how recycling old soap is changing lives in Cambodia.

Samir Lakhani started Eco-Soap Bank after visiting Cambodia.

SHARON RADISCH FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS WITHOUT BORDERS

Samir Lakhani was in college when he first visited Cambodia. One trip to this small country in Asia changed Lakhani’s life.

He learned that Cambodia is very poor. Most people don’t have clean running water to wash with. Lakhani also saw that many people don’t have soap. He wanted to solve that problem.

A worker cleans soap chunks. They will become new bars.

SHARON RADISCH FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS WITHOUT BORDERS

Recycling Soap

Each year, many millions of tourists visit Cambodia. The country’s hotels use large amounts of soap. A hotel can produce 150 pounds of soap waste every month. Lakhani’s idea was to recycle that soap. He started a project called Eco-Soap Bank.

Workers from Eco-Soap Bank visit hotels each month. They collect used soap. They take it to a recycling plant. The soap is cleaned. Then it is chopped up and mixed together. From bits of old soap come brand-new bars and liquid soap.

Kids learn about staying clean and healthy with soap.

SHARON RADISCH FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS WITHOUT BORDERS

Soap for All

Hygiene education is a top priority for Eco-Soap Bank. The group teaches children how to use the soap to stay clean and healthy.

Eco-Soap Bank also gives soap to local women to sell. They earn money for their families.

What is next for Eco-Soap Bank? “We want to start Eco-Soap Banks in every tourist area around the world,” Lakhani says. He wants to help people take their health into their own hands. He plans to do so one bar of soap at a time.

Think!

What are some examples of good hygiene? Brainstorm examples with a partner.

Visit Cambodia

Cambodia is a small country in Asia. It has mountains, lakes, and cities. Look at the map to learn more about Cambodia. Then answer the questions.

MAPS BY JOE LEMONNIER FOR TIME FOR KIDS

1. What is the name of Cambodia’s capital? 

2. In which direction would you travel to go from Poipet to the temples at Angkor Wat? 

3. Which park is in northern Cambodia?

4. Are the Elephant Mountains south of Pursat?