Problem Solving Must Read: Recycling Hotel Soap to Give to the Poor

Plus: A Southern city stops "debating" climate change and acts, and teaching young adults in New Orleans how to code

Problem Solving Must Read: Recycling Hotel Soap to Give to the Poor

Plus: A Southern city stops "debating" climate change and acts, and teaching young adults in New Orleans how to code

For many poor people in Asia, healthy hygiene is difficult to practice due to lack of access to proper soaps. So when Samir Lakhani, an American student, saw a mother in rural Cambodia washing her child with harsh detergent rather than soap, he was shocked. Detergents, which are known to contain toxic chemicals, can be incredibly harmful to children both when making contact with the skin and if accidentally ingested. While parents’ intentions in keeping their children clean and healthy are certainly good, their inability to acquire safe soap ends up putting their children at risk.

Rather than simply being shocked and moving on, Lakhani did something about it. He realized that hotels across Cambodia throw away incredible amounts of soap every day; often, bars have only been used once by travelers and still have the potential for several more useful washes. Lakhani began collecting this used soap and developed a way to recycle it into full bars. Those bars are then distributed to those in need, giving impoverished families across the country a healthier way to stay clean.

As an added bonus, Lakhani’s nonprofit has obtained sponsorships from local hotels, as well as funding from U.S. sources. This has enabled him to train and hire local Cambodians to produce the recycled soap, making him not only a health advocate, but a job creator.

Read the full story at the BBC.

Here’s what else we’re reading:

When a City Stops Arguing About Climate Change and Starts Planning

Photo: Pixabay

The Southern United States has already been feeling the effects of climate change. Rising sea levels and higher temperatures are now an unavoidable reality for the region. However, climate change continues to be viewed with skepticism across much of the South. After historic floods in 2015 and after facing the wrath of Hurricane Matthews last month, the city of Charleston, South Carolina is setting aside the climate change “debate” and forging ahead to implement a comprehensive plan to combat climate change. (via Next City)

Could New Orleans Become the Silicon Valley of the South?

Louisiana is one of the poorest states in the country. In New Orleans, almost a third of the city lives below the poverty line. Many young adults are not in school and are unemployed. Many of the state’s low-income students drop out of college strapped with debt. New Orleans, though, also has thousands of software development positions that remain unfilled. So a Canadian jazz musician, video game designer and recent resident of The Big Easy began a software developer training program for low income young adults. Not only does this training provide relevant workforce training, it helps many youths of New Orleans avoid enormous college debts. (Via Nationswell)

Photo header via Pixabay

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