Pap and Baobab in Tzanchaj for Day of Handwashing
In previous reports, we told you about the progress our School Health and Hygiene program has made throughout rural communities in Guatemala. Today we wanted to share a bit more information about one of our collaborators and how we have joined efforts to have a greater impact.
In June 2014, Pueblo a Pueblo began collaborating with Baobab products. Baobab is a social enterprise based in Guatemala City that makes a line of organic soaps and lip balms that are all natural, biodegradable, and free from artificial ingredients. Baobab prides themselves on being environmentally-friendly and demonstrates a strong commitment to social responsibility through their Manos Felices, or Happy Hands, program.
By providing soap and promoting hygiene awareness to Guatemalan students, Baobab’s goal with their Manos Felices program is to decrease the rate of childhood disease, increase school attendance, and enhance the lives of children, their families and communities. Reaching this goal is made possible by combining resources with Pueblo a Pueblo. Alejandro Torun, founder of Baobab, states “our Manos Felices program is focused mainly on supplying soap to participating schools in Guatemala, but by working together with Pueblo a Pueblo we found a perfect match, since they not only have a WASH [Water, Sanitation and Hygiene] education and evaluation program, but also build sanitation and handwashing infrastructure at the schools.”
Bounded by the same goal, Pueblo a Pueblo and Baobab started collaborating in Tzanchaj and Nueva Providencia. Like many rural, indigenous communities, Tzanchaj and Nueva Providencia face obstacles to good health. Sanitation facilities are limited and soap is expensive. However, by working together, our WASH project and Baobab have closed both gaps. Pueblo a Pueblo remodeled nine bathrooms and built five more, along with six new hand-washing stations, while Baobab contributed hand soap supplies.
At the end of the year we were astounded to find out that the amount of students using soap when washing their hands in Tzanchaj and Nueva Providencia went from 0% to 100%, in the months after Pueblo a Pueblo and Baobab provided their support!
Thanks to your contributions and our collaborations with companies like Baobab, we are proud to bring the health and sanitation resources needed ensure good health to rural communities.
Children with new Baobab soap in Tzanchaj
Taken on Int'l Handwashing Day with PaP and Baobab