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Hope in a Bar of Soap

The soap-making project has positive outcomes with various impacts, such as improving hygiene, health, and empowering women financially.

Photo of Jafari Songolo-Ramazani
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

With a huge population of 186,692 registered refugees and asylum-seekers (UNHCR reports at the end of November 2018), UNHCR /community Services Unit find it difficult to cater for refugees and asylum-seekers with sanitary needs. Since the USA, through its humanitarian aid-the famous BPRM, decreased its support to UNHCR and its implementing partners, refugees have been affected, especially girls and women when it comes to carrying out their household sanitary needs (washing clothes and utensils, etc.). With this shortage of funds from donors, every refugee/ asylum seeker has been receiving a-three inch bar soap to use it throughout the month which is not sufficient. Apart from their household sanitary needs, girls and women have other sensitive needs such as menstrual periods which need regular cleanliness. Girls and women impacted by this problem are those who are still active in the age range of 12 to 50 years old. With recurrent outbreak of water-borne diseases (cholera and typhoid fever) in Kakuma refugee camp and its environs, bar soap project will help reduce new infections. Thus, improving the overall health and well-being of refugees and asylum-seekers. The implementation of a bar soap project will play a critical role in addressing the problem as bar soap will be distributed free to the most vulnerable girl and women refugees and asylum-seekers (orphans, unaccompanied minors, children-headed household, girls and women with disabilities, and girls and women with chronic diseases) and bought at a low and cheap price for the project sustainability.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Kakuma Refugee Camp was initially established to accommodate the Sudanese refugees fleeing the civil war in 1992. Now, it houses refugees fleeing conflicts from countries all over sub-Saharan Africa, including four Ester-Africa countries and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The camp is located in Turkana County in northwestern Kenya. In the past three years, the camp has surpassed its capacity by over 50 percent thus far, and it will likely expand even further.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Regarding the tangible outcomes, the project has been a turning on the spotlight to the refugee community especially women involved in the project, whereby few of them with capital are now organizing their own businesses while few repatriated back to South Sudan are now using the skills to earn a living in their home country. Therefore, we have created more opportunities for generating income for their financial stability.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Refugees and asylum-seekers, being neighbours of host community (Turkana people), are mostly blamed/victimized by the latter when water-borne diseases break out as their presence/influx is seen as the main root of the disease. With this bar soap project at hand, Kakuma refugee community and its environs will be having a countdown to outbreak of diseases, thus breaking down stereotypes (in the eyes of host community Refugees are seen as contributors to diseases) and improving relationships between them for a peaceful cohabitation. This is an excellent instrumental for community growth, not only because of successful results but, also for the fact that it has brought a huge impact on refugees and to the nearby communities. The impact makes the project unique, is by ensuring soap is available and affordable, as well as undertaking reforms that give women's groups in Kakuma opportunities to initiate livelihood project.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

Level of Poverty in Kakuma Refugee Camp Kakuma is located in the poorest county of Turkana. And as a result of this extreme poverty is too complex for refugees to imagine the possibility of a better future because even the local people are accounting on them. All refugees in Kakuma are completely dependent on humanitarian food aid provided by the World Food Programmer WFP. The major problem that afflicts refugees in Kakuma is springs just from one source, which is the lack of formal or informal occupation for refugees. Only 5 percent of all refugees in Kakuma are earning income from employment, compared to over 80 percent jobless, and not more than 15 percent self-employed. The soap making project is encouraging self-reliance, empowering the people to respond to their needs and motivating them to be involved in the community to share responsibilities. Therefore, we enable the community to be creative in order to undermine the circle of poverty

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

Our contribution to society is to help the unprivileged access what they need to better themselves and the situation for all those around them. The implementation of this initiative provides a unique opportunity to handle the complex challenges of getting soap in the refugee camps, as well as providing an entrepreneurial venture for many women. The act of making soap can now solve many problems. Having access to soap in Kakuma will improve hygiene, health, and food safety for everyone in the camp, and a soap making project such as this will provide an opportunity for income generation, something which will promote financial stability. It will make it available for/to refugees and host community to afford sufficient bar soaps, especially girls and women. As workers will be needed, the project will create job opportunities to some jobless refugees. It will make it easy for/to the most vulnerable group refugees who are unable to afford bar soaps after the ones of UNHCR get finished.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

The Greatest Challenges Since its establishment in 1992, the refugees in Kakuma have experienced different forms of insecurity and violence occurring frequently in the camp. This often involves armed robbery, sexual abuse, fighting among refugees due to ethnicity, and violence between the local population and refugees. The camp is also notorious for extreme heat, lack of vegetation, poisonous spiders, snakes, scorpions, and everyday dust storms. Many burdens are placed on health services because malaria, pneumonia, infectious diseases such as chickenpox, and cholera are commonplace. Additionally, many refugees suffer from other serious medical conditions affecting their physical and mental health, such as HIV/AIDS, and reproductive health issues

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

Having implemented a soap making pilot project funded by Sackville United Church/Canada, so far, the business has been progressing very well with a positive outcome for the few women. The women's co-operative would now like to expand the soap-making capacity because of the increasing demand of soap; however, the main challenges they face is lack of adequate resources to purchase and transport enough ingredient from Nairobi to Kakuma Camp in order to move parallel in responding to this growing needs which may lead to higher price again.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

Faulu is recently legally registered in Canada as a Foreign Non-Profit-Making/ Sub-classification is NGO with International Business Number CC/TRKWHC2434 and Incorporation Number 4128. The organization is also well registered under the Kenyan not-for-profit Act with an official number CO/TRKW/CDO/HC 2434. Partners with an MoU signed Sackville United Church of Canada Email: Faith Evangelical Baptist Church of S-Sudane PROPONENTS UNHCR sub-office of Kakuma Email: Permaculture for sustainable Communities Australia Email: Center for Hope Australia Email: Ever Green Coin-United States Increased Economics-USA Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Lotus Kenya Action for Development Organization (LOKADO) Swiss Contact Kakuma

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Being on the move, crossing borders, and/or temporarily settled

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources

Group or Organization Name

Faulu is a Swahili name that has several meanings. We use it in the context of calling for actions of rebuilding refugees lives by empowering and social advocacy.

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

Faulu is a refugee-run humanitarian organization that has been in the field since 2015. It is a certified non-profit Community-Based Organization that seeks to provide a hopeful outlook for the future of the young refugees in Kakuma and Kalobeyei camps. We are a team of enthusiastic, dedicated and dynamic refugees, who believe in resilience, potential, and the power of young people to determine the most sustainable grassroots solution to reach the goals of developing our communities and create a better future for ourselves. Using our community-based approach, we have built a long-term vision based on our in-depth knowledge of vulnerable individuals in crisis. Limited social and economic opportunities prompted us to start this organization under the name of (APCWWE) to address unmet needs in our community. We work to empower youth and adult refugees to regain full energy and control over their own lives by providing opportunities and strengthening their skills and capacity.

Website URL:

Due to current change from CBO to NGO we are now working on creating new website, however, the older one is available. Facebook page:

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country

We are in Kenya/ Kakuma Refugee Camp & Recently we have being registered in Canada under regulation of International Humanitarian Act

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Sackville New Brunswick & Lodwar Turkana County/ kakuma Refugee Camp

Attachments (1)

Kakuma Refegees' Voice.doc

Kakuma Refugees' voice is an article that speak above and beyond the everyday needs of refugees in kakuma Camp. It is also addressing numbers of barriers that preventing refuges in kakuma to develop their human potential. Additionally, it is a strong element that contain useful information in supporting the idea presented in the proposal.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Temba Vicent

Hello there,


Thank you very much. How your idea empower the displaced people or Wellcome community to support refugees?

Thank you Temba

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