Changing Lives in Zambia

In late August, a Clean the World team traveled to Zambia on a joint trip with Children International. Clean the World Marketing Coordinator Kristin Rucker documented the trip.

Jamil Rodman, Jennifer Kolb, Pamela Theriault, and Bianca Madrid volunteered to join us on this mission to prevent childhood disease and death through soap distribution and hygiene education. These women are partners of Clean the World, volunteers, donors, and ambassadors that connected one way or another.

They joined us and Children International (CI) to distribute 15,000 bars of soap and teach healthy habits to the people of Zambia. The country has a population of more than 14 million, with 60 percent living below the poverty line. Soap is all too rare in developing areas of Zambia, where choosing necessities often does not include soap.

CI is a vital part of the betterment of these communities. The organization supports health and education needs, providing long-term care for children to increase their success in living a better life.

Sing. Dance. Love.

After a visit to the CI headquarters, we departed for a life-changing day in Kanyama. The facility there opened in 2005 and was CI’s first location in Zambia. We received an overwhelming welcome from 300 children dancing, laughing, and cheering for our arrival. The love was apparent, a great deal of hope resonated in all of us as the children clamored to meet us and ask our names.

zambiaAs all 300 children stood around the central area, our volunteers performed a hygiene education skit featuring Super Soap and Super Water. Jamil came boisterously through the stage as strong and helpful Super Soap. Bianca whirled around as vital Super Water. Jen and Pamela came teetering through, tearing around as bad-guy germs. The children were ecstatic for Super Soap and Super Water to save the day, overtaking the germs with their strong teamwork.

After distributing 500 soap kits to the children at the Kanyama facility, we visited a sponsored family that receives support from CI. They graciously invited us inside their home, which is a two-room, cinderblock dwelling – a rare luxury.

The floor is dirt, doors consist of tattered cloth blowing in the breeze, and the bathroom is a large ditch in the distance. The family was genuine and kind, truly happy to have each other and the support from caring people. One young man was 19 years old and has been in the CI program since he was 7. His testimony bolstered the fact that success happens when non-profits work together as a team.

We were sad to leave the community. The children followed us back to the caravan. At one point, I had 30 children surrounding me. We moved as one multicellular unit, holding hands, each holding onto the next so we would not have to be apart.

Chibolya was our next stop. We experienced the now-familiar greeting of dance and song at this center, which opened in 2007. Children International’s mission is to provide the tools for children to be healthy, educated, and self-reliant, to create lasting change for children in poverty. Clean the World provided soap to reach the goal of health and hygiene for each child.

At this location, the performers invited us to perform with them. They taught us dances, and our attempts amused the group. We played a game where we coated bouncy balls in glitter and played catch with many of the 200 children. We explained how the glitter transferred to our hands and then on to other people just like germs. We shared the importance of soap and showed how to wash our hands properly.

To the tune of “Happy Birthday,” the congregation joined us in singing “Happy Hand Washing.” The lesson is that the length of time it takes to sing the song equals the length of time you should wash your hands: 20 seconds. Children lined up to receive soap. They were joyous and thankful to receive the gift. It was very meaningful to see how they appreciated our visit.

Our final visit was to the town of George. The 300 sponsored children from the village arrived an hour early, and they patiently waited for our arrival. Again the thoughtful greeting of song and dance followed. Mothers told us how our donations of soap are a blessing, how their children do not get ill as often when they can wash their hands.

A volunteer brought stickers, which was an extra treat for the children. Word spread fast outside the facility. Children ran down the road in droves. Within 30 minutes, 100 children gathered for the treats. Some of them ran a half-mile for the chance to receive something fun and colorful. What a fun time it was giving those out and seeing how special it was for the children. We forget how materially blessed we are at home.

Health is Wealth

We made fast friends wherever we went. The true gift for us was the chance to learn and understand a culture beyond our own, to give love and receive it. We experienced the common goal all humans share, living beyond surviving, living in the moment, and sharing the understanding that health is wealth.

Beyond our visits to connect with the people who benefit from Clean the World’s soap, we toured the beautiful countryside. We saw wild animals everywhere, walked to markets, spoke with locals, and learned of daily life to better understand a different lifestyle. We visited the world’s largest waterfall, Victoria Falls, and canoed down the Zambezi River.

What a wonderful world we live in, what a meaningful trip. We all agreed, that it was an experience of a lifetime, We learned more and felt more love than we ever anticipated. Though we reached many children, there are so many more who need help. We saw how continued support makes an impact in these children’s lives. This trip only created more purpose and drive to continue the Clean the world mission of reaching children everywhere, to reduce disease, and promote hygiene habits for a better future. Our lives were touched and forever changed.

I cannot wait to see where Clean the World goes next. I hope you can join us!

Meet the New Members of Our Leadership Team

Clean the World Joins the B Corp Movement

CTW Global logo

We are proud to announce that CTW Global is now a Certified B Corporation.

Certified B Corporations use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. It’s like fair-trade
certification – but for the whole business.

If you have ever bought a bag of fair-trade coffee, then you know the value of spending your money on something that creates goodness all the way around. Fair-trade means the farmers who work so hard to produce your coveted drink are making a fair living, and you get a great-tasting cup of organic coffee. In a similar fashion, Certified B Corporations meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Our move toward third-party certification from B Lab started more than a year ago.B Lab logo

In July of 2014, Florida joined the growing number of states that permit a special type of business entity known as a “benefit corporation,” which is a hybrid between a non-profit and for-profit company. The benefit corporation is the best possible operating structure for organizations that want to devote a significant portion of their business resources to substantial nonprofit or socially beneficial activities.

CTW Global was the state’s first benefit corporation under the new law last year. But that was only the first step. The next step was to achieve certification by B Lab, a 501(c)3 non-profit that serves a global movement of entrepreneurs and uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Lab serves these entrepreneurs through initiatives that provide the legal infrastructure and help them attract the customers, talent, and capital to scale.

A company can incorporate as a benefit corporation simply by completing the required forms provided by the secretary of state in any given state. However, the certification process from B Lab is the gold standard when it comes to operating as a B Corp. As a Certified B Corporation, CTW Global is expected and required to meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

At Clean the World, we are inspired by the global movement to redefine success. Certified B Corps distinguish themselves by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business. It is an honor for us to have CTW Global join the nearly 1,400 B Lab-certified B Corporations that are translating ideas into action in 42 countries.

CTW Global is a pioneer and leader in implementing business-centric structures that maximize impact on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profits. It is the social enterprise that provides operational and business services to the four non-profit entities that are a key part of Clean the World’s sustainable ecosystem. The non-profit entities are: Clean the World Foundation, Clean the World Canada, Clean the World Asia, and the Global Soap Project.

Partner Profile: Tahoe Mountain Resorts

Logo for Tahoe Mountain ResortsTahoe Mountain Resorts Lodging offers a fine collection of Lake Tahoe vacation rentals. They provide owners and guests with luxury accommodations as well as unparalleled customer service, professionalism, and hospitality.

The company is committed to reducing environmental impact by engaging associations, owners, guests, and the community in responsible products and sustainable practices. Tahoe Mountain Resorts Lodging is a proud supporter of the “Green Bucks” program, which contributes to hiking and biking trails, watershed restoration projects, wildlife protection and environmental stewardship programs.

The team at Tahoe Mountain Resorts Lodging feels privileged to work and live in a beautiful mountain paradise, and are dedicated to preserving it for generations to come.