It’s International Handwashing Day … a perfect time to give you a proper update on our soap initiative.
If you read our first post about this from July, we shared about the basic opportunity. Yes, we truly believe it’s a miracle.
So here is the latest …
12-Month Budget & Startup Funding: We’re thrilled to report that from just that one blog post we raised $5,600. That gave us a startup budget plus a 12-month operating budget for this program. In the near future we will announce a need for additional funding, but as of right now, that initial giving was more than we could have hoped to get – and so the program is off to a great start!
Official Charter: The Program has been officially approved by our ministry partner (Needs Care School) in Zambia as a ministry initiative. The goal is to provide love and care to the needy of their community while also offering empowerment and sustainability to their program. This fits perfectly with our “Purposeful Products” strategy!
Use Of Soap: As part of the official approval the Board of Directors decided how the soap would be used.
- 25% of all soap will be given to the poorest families in the community through their Caregiver ministry.
- The remaining 75% will be made available for purchase.
- The Sew Powerful Purse Program will act as a “buyer” in that regard. So we fund the program with a budget each month, and in exchange, we receive a certain amount of the soap for our purse program. Think of it like a standing monthly order, from a trusted customer, which the team can use as a stable source of funding to scale up their program.
- The goal will be to scale production so a local sales staff can begin selling it to add income – making the program locally sustainable.
Soap Team: We have a leader and funding for an initial team of 4 people. Our vision is to scale this program to a large number – adding staff and facilities in a logical and methodical fashion. Our initial goal will be 20 employees, after our facilities issue is resolved.
Current Facility: The team is currently using the existing clinic building location since it is not in use every day. The challenge is – it’s very small space. More room is being actively looked for.
Initial Test Batches: The team has been doing initial test batches learning about how to melt, shape, and dry the soap. From these tests they’ll be able to determine many things including production capacity, speed of drying, and best practices for cutting and packaging the soap.
Pictures From The First Batch: We’ve included the pictures from the very first batch of soap attempted before any proper tools were purchased. This gives you a feel for how challenging the environment is – but it’s so fun to see the project come to life.
A Huge Thank You: We want to extend a huge thank you to everyone that donated to this initial effort. This project has captured the imagination and support of so many people – it’s exciting to see it spring to life. It couldn’t happen without your support.
Honored to partner together,
Jason, Cinnamon, Esther & the Entire Sew Powerful (and So Powerful Soap) team!
Tell Us What You Think: Be sure to leave a word of encouragement in the comments below so the Zambia Soap Team knows they are loved and supported! We’ll do our best to continue giving you updates!