Busoga Trust's BuSOAPa project is working with women to help them establish a small soap business
The Bugembe Joint Christian Women in the BUsoapa project.
Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of death for children under five, but hand washing with soap at critical times can reduce the incidence of diarrhoea by almost 50%. Soap, however, is not easily accessible or affordable for many rural Ugandan communities.
To tackle this problem, the Busoga Trust’s BuSOAPa initiative is equipping women in and around Bugembe to produce and market their own soap, aiming to improve community driven hygiene education, as well as enable sustainable income generation for the poorest members of the community.
Since the inception of the project by a group of Imperial College students during their summer placement, the Busoga Trust team have experimented with strategies and are making promising headway. The BuSOAPa project, led by Agnes our Programme Area Manager (PAM) in Bugembe, is now working alongside a group called Bugembe Joint Christian Women (BJCW).
Mrs. Kayizzi, the leader of BJCW said, ‘This soap has improved the sanitation level in our families and community. We hope that once we get more money so as to produce in bulk, it will create jobs for members and others in the community. We are so grateful. The soap we make is of very good quality and there is very high demand for it out there.’
WBJCW, established in 2015, is made up of approximately 100 women who, with entrepreneurial spirit, seek to develop themselves and their communities spiritually and practically.
For the group of women interested in starting a soap business, Busoga Trust supplied them with the start-up materials and equipment necessary, organised trainings, and facilitated sessions on product demand and marketing strategies. The group has also recently set up a savings and credit cooperative organisation enabling members to save and get loans towards their businesses.
It is still early days but the women have made a profit from sales or their initial batch of soap, and want to grow the project step by step towards their vision of a soap factory within Bugembe.