SoapBox Soaps CEO David Simnick’s dream of helping the less privileged in Liberia is being realized through his decision to help women Ebola survivors restart their lives.
The company is owned by American David Simnick, and has reached an agreement with a local non-governmental organization, Renew Energy Serving Humanity (RESH), to train 40 women Ebola survivors.
According to a source close to the deal, the survivors would learn to make sweet smelling bathing and washing soap, which is considered as a pilot-project with the prospect of growing to benefit many others.
RESH CEO, Earnest G. Smith, disclosed to the Daily Observer that SoapBox and RESH have created a program for these survivors to provide psychological counseling and give them the opportunity to learn soap-making skills and small business management skills.
CEO Smith said the soap that will be manufactured through the program will be donated to four schools in Montserrado County that were heavily hit by the Ebola virus, though he did not identify the schools.
He told survivors, referred to as Champions, at a workshop organized by RESH in Monrovia recently to “take advantage of this opportunity.”
“This is a great opportunity for our Champions and we must take advantage of it. This comes with enormous efforts we have made and this could be another turning point in your lives if you take it very seriously,” Smith told them.
Under the arrangement, SoapBox will provide the funding for the training and a soap making expert has been contracted to train the Champions, Smith added.
Meanwhile, all the Champions interviewed said that the project will have a great impact on their lives and they can’t wait to get started.
Linda Saah said: “If we acquire this knowledge it will help make us independent. We will able to make our own money.”
“It will empower us economically and some of us will not have to depend on our husbands for our livelihoods as has always been the case,” Mamie Bernard, another Champion, said.
Coordinator Jessica Sampson said: “We will be able to make our own soap when we have acquired the skills. So I’m very happy about this initiative.”
“As a woman it is good for you to have technical skills that would help with the upkeep of your family. This is why I’m so excited about this project.”
The Champions extended their appreciation to SoapBox for providing them the opportunity.
RESH is a Liberian NGO which focuses on providing psychosocial support for victims of traumatic events. It was founded in the wake of the Ebola crisis. Its services include psychosocial counseling, capacity building (practical skills development) awareness, research and advocacy for survivors and the families of victims.