Mackenzie and Corinne, members of VHP, designed and implemented this project because the women of Lweza expressed a need for some sort of skill set that could generate income. Additionally, during their time in Uganda, VHP members noticed how much sanitation was emphasized in the health care systems as something that needed to be improved in order to improve the health of the community members. Therefore, they decided that soapmaking would be perfect to address the sanitation needs of the community as well as promote women’s empowerment. Through the use of local products and implementation of small business, this project would also stimulate the economy.
In August, Mackenzie and Corinne traveled back to Uganda to implement this project, and it was a huge success. Upon their arrival, they met with members of the community to explain why they had come and what they would be doing. They then planned to hold a demonstration for any interested community members and sixty-five people showed up, which exceeded expectations. Mackenzie and Corinne taught those members how to make soap and had a follow-up demonstration to ensure that everyone understood the process.
Now that they have returned, Mackenzie and Corinne have received word that the teachers at Lweza Primary School, members of Village Health Project-Uganda, and members of Munno mukabi, are all making soap successfully. They are also teaching students at the school and using the soap at school and in their homes. Members of VHP-U and VHP are collaborating to create a business plan that can be implemented in order to stimulate the economy of Lweza and turn this into a large-scale operation. VHP will also be selling this soap at fair trade sales and to soap stores in Madison, WI.