"Lucky Soap"

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‘Lucky Soap’ brings 'hope' for AIDS sufferers

Naotcha is a township on the outskirts of Blantyre and has an area in which HOPE for AIDS has been working for some time. Indeed, HOPE for AIDS’ first Home-Based Care project in Malawi was established in the township. Today it is the setting for an ‘Income-Generating Scheme’ which is looking to help HIV/AIDS sufferers produce a marketable product which they can sell to generate income for their families and also some profit to be ploughed back into the project.

The product in question is soap. From an unappetising start of around 7.5kgs of animal fat with cooking oil, caustic soda, water and Artemisia oil, the ladies involved with the project produce bars of good-quality soap which is then sold in the local area. Each batch of soap takes about four weeks from start of production to saleable product.

Andrea Richter with some of the ladies involved in the soap-making work at Naotcha

“The women carry the burden to care for themselves and their children entirely alone. They struggle on a daily basis to provide for their families and there is often no food in the home. In response to this great need, the soap project was born and the four neediest women chosen,” said Andrea Richter.

The scheme is coming to the point where the ladies will be able to take it on themselves under the watchful eye of HOPE for AIDS Home-Based Care Co-ordinator Thomas Fungulani.

“We are pleased that the project will become self-sustaining and the ladies in Naotcha are interested to keep the project going even if Andrea and I pull back a little,” said Karen Freeburn.

“It took a little longer than we thought to get to where we are today but there are signs that the ladies are getting used to the process and are starting to make a good-quality product on their own with minimal supervision from us.”

Raw material, 7.5kgs animal fat, to ...
... finished product!

 

 

 

 

 

 

But how did the soap become known as ‘Lucky Soap’? The name came from the ladies themselves as they said that they felt ‘lucky’ to have been chosen to make the soap, and so the name stuck! They sell a block for around Malawian Kwacha 120* and this is enough to make it attractive to would-be purchasers yet still gives them enough to make a profit and have money for themselves.

 

Supported by project 96253 ‘HOPE for AIDS Malawi’

 

*At the time of writing MK120 was roughly worth US$0.37 or £0.24

 

 


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