Lovin’ Soap Project was contacted this week by Mission at Natuvu Creek to help out with a project in Fiji to tackle hygiene issues, including battling scabies, secondary infection from scratching sores and bug bites…and just the general hygiene in the community. There is a medical clinic in operation and they want to make soap to give to the community to tackle these issues.
That’s where we come in! A nurse at their clinic found our website and asked their coordinator to contact us to help. They want to make soap using local coconut oil, but don’t know how to go about it. They literally have a drum of coconut oil but need help with the process. They’ve asked us to make a really quick decision, with little time left, to jump on a plane in two weeks to come help!
Of course…we said yes!
When people think of Fiji, they think of luxurious resort vacations and beautiful beaches. This is indeed true, however the revenue from these destination resorts do not have a trickle-down effect into the majority economy. The reality is that over a third of Fiji’s population live under $2 per day. 31% to be exact. Furthermore, remaining 69% of this statistic don’t live in the greatest of situations; most live in abject poverty.
The rural population of Fiji has little to no access to healthcare, sanitation or clean water. They are left off the brochures and fancy websites. They live a hard life, and the common necessities that make life easier are incredibly expensive; namely soap. Soap is too expensive for the rural population of Fiji to purchase, so they simply don’t. And because they don’t have common hygiene practices put in place, scabies has taken over all of the smaller rural islands within the entire nation.
Scabies is a burrowing mite that we would consider an annoyance; we would simply obtain antibiotics and clean ourselves with soap. The Fiji population cannot do this, therefore it has run rampant throughout each village, community and island. The main concern with scabies is that when it isn’t treated, it can lead to active impetigo lesions, which will eventually produce toxins in the body. This is happening right now, as you read this…especially to babies and young children. Once the toxins have been produced and still no treatment, the person (again, namely babies and young children) are forced to live a life of horrible discomfort and pain, which leads to lack of sleep, the inability to work and of course the recurrent onset of infecting those around them.
For this reason we have been discovered and asked to go to Fiji.
We’ve already spoken to the mission coordinator and made a game plan.
- We will help the community make coconut oil using the local (and plentiful) coconuts. Selling this coconut oil could become a wonderful income stream for the mission.
- We will teach them how to make soap using locally sourced ingredients and tea tree oil to help combat hygiene-preventable disease and infection.
- The soap will also be sold to the mission teams that come and want to purchase souvenirs. This could be a great revenue stream for the mission!
- We will teach hygiene workshops on how germs spread and how simple hand washing can make a huge difference in the health of the community.
The mission does so many wonderful things for the community. They offer pretty much any outpatient medical service that can be offered. Day after day, community members come in to the clinic with hygiene-preventable issues that could have been avoided if they simply had soap and used it. The community members simply state that they can’t find and can’t afford soap. And when it comes to spending money on food or soap, they’re going to buy food. The clinic volunteers want to make soap to give out in hygiene kits to make it accessible to everyone who needs it.
What an easy thing that we can help them with! Let’s help this community gain access to soap (by making it themselves) and teach them how to use it every day.
We need to raise about $2000 in funds to make this happen! That’s where you come in.
The money raised will go towards travel, raw ingredients and equipment.
As always, your donation is tax-deductible!
Amanda & Benjamin