Marina Bay Sands Team Builds 20,000 Hygiene Kits

On July 28, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore hosted the first of four 2016 Clean the World hygiene kit builds taking place at Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) properties from July through December. Team members came together as part of the third annual Las Vegas Sands Global Hygiene Kit Build to assemble 20,000 hygiene kits for at-risk children in the Philippines.

By the end of the year, three more hygiene kit events will take place at Las Vegas Sands properties in Las Vegas, Pennsylvania, and Macao. Team members will build a total of 100,000 hygiene kits to improve the health and well-being of populations in need worldwide.

After the completion of this year’s builds, LVS properties will have packed 400,000 total hygiene kits over the past three years to support our mission to reduce hygiene-related illness through improved access to soap and other hygiene products.

(all photos courtesy of Marina Bay Sands)

Marina Bay Sands team members pumped up and ready to take on the challenge of packing 20,000 hygiene kits.

Marina Bay Sands team members pumped up and ready to take on the challenge of packing 20,000 hygiene kits.

Session 1's winning team from Finance packed 500 kits in 23.02 seconds!

Team members raced to be the first to pack 500 kits. Session 1’s winning team from Finance closed the deal in 23.02 seconds!

Session 2's winning team from Culinary packed 500 kits in 17.30 seconds!

Session 2’s winning team from Culinary packed 500 kits in a blazing 17.30 seconds!

Teamwork and efficiency are the secrets to fast kit building.

Teamwork and efficiency are the secrets to fast kit building.

They did it! Team members from Marina Bay Sands successfully packed 20,000 kits as part of the Las Vegas Sands Global Hygiene Kit Build.

They did it! Team members from Marina Bay Sands successfully packed 20,000 kits as part of the Las Vegas Sands Global Hygiene Kit Build.

Wings of Faith Ministries: Changing Lives With Soap

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Men at the Hope Center can get a shower, clean clothes and a warm meal. Most are homeless on the White Mountain Apache Reservation.

Earlier this year, Clean the World provided more than 5,000 recycled soap bars to Wings of Faith Ministries in Tustin, California. The soap was used to support Native Americans connected to the Thoreau Native Outreach, Hope Center, NAOMI House (Native American Outreach Mission), and Tolani Lake Youth Project.

The children at NAOMI House often arrive emotionally and physically traumatized. The staff provides them with basic hygiene and oral hygiene instructions. Soap from Clean the World Foundation not only gave physical relief to the children, but budgetary relief to the facility because they were able to redirect funds that otherwise would have been used to buy hygiene supplies.

At the Hope Center, Clean the World soap helps homeless people who receive a shower, clean clothes, and a warm meal. The staff has noticed an improvement in self-esteem and overall well being when the homeless have an opportunity to get clean, refreshed, and fed. This is a unique opportunity for those who live in a fairly hostile wilderness environment.

Kids at the Tolani Lake Youth Project are encouraged to practice good hygiene habits after sports activities, and they receive hygiene products to take home when supplies allow. Clean the World soap filled a vital need for these young people.

Global Health Events Elevate Clean the World Foundation in WASH Sector

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Delegates attend the 69th World Health Assembly at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva.

In May, Clean the World Foundation was delighted to participate in two important events in the global health community.

First, we attended the WASH Futures conference in Brisbane, Australia, with some of the most innovative organizations and leaders in the WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) sector. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about pressing issues and needs around the world, tools and tactics being used to make a difference, and successes various groups are having in their respective fields.

Clean the World Foundation shared critical updates from our work in the hygiene space, particularly our new approach on outcome-based programs such as our Soap in Schools Program in Kenya.

The conference also provided a great opportunity to identify new and innovative ways to partner with other WASH organizations. Look for new endeavors to launch soon, including projects that include nutrition and maternal health in developing communities around the world.

Following on the success of the WASH Futures conference, we attended the World Health Assembly, the annual gathering of global health leaders at the World Health Organization in Switzerland. This weeklong conference tracks progress toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), identifies emerging issues the global health community needs to address, and highlights programs and partnerships that are making a measurable difference for some of the world’s most pressing health concerns.

We were excited to network with other leading global health organizations, working to identify new potential partnership and program opportunities globally while also sharing success stories from our work in the hygiene field.

These events are important for us, not only to learn best practices in the field and identify potential new programs and partnerships, but also to raise awareness of the impactful work Clean the World Foundation does around the world. Our goal is to continue developing our position as a global leader in the hygiene sector. Awareness and recognition at world-class gatherings such as these are big steps in the right direction.

We’ll keep you posted on other events we attend in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, thanks so much for your support of our impactful work here at home and around the world.

Kenya Program Reduces Illness Among Students

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Students receiving hygiene education and soap.

In March, Clean the World launched our “Soap in Schools” program in Kenya with the support of Starwood Foundation. During the nine-month hygiene education program, we provide soap and hygiene education to more than 4,000 primary school children who live in extreme poverty.

The program started in February with a baseline study of students in 12 schools. We discovered that nearly 70 percent had been sick with a hygiene-related illness in the previous month – and nearly 40 percent missed a week of school or more as a result. After that study, we designed various interventions to implement in elementary and middle school classrooms for the targeted group of students. Teachers and school nurses distribute soap to the children, make sure soap is available at hand washing stations at the schools, and teach proper hand washing skills every few weeks to help kids remember why it is so important.

We conducted the first 90-day assessment at the end of May, and we see considerable progress. There was a 58 percent reduction in hygiene-related illnesses among those 4,000 students – a huge decrease in such a short period! This success is due to the ongoing hand washing education and enforcement, and the constant availability of soap in the schools.

We are thrilled with the outcomes so far. Our next assessment will take place in August, and will share those results with you as soon as we have them. In the meantime, we are about to launch the same Soap in Schools program in Tanzania. Stay tuned for more information on the baseline results and program outcomes.

Laura Schwartz, Clean the World, Asembia, Wynn Las Vegas Team Up for Lifesaving Recycling Program

As an active Clean the World board member, professional speaker Laura Schwartz was especially proud to emcee the Asembia 2016 Specialty Pharmacy Summit at the fabulous Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. Wynn has been a Clean the World partner since 2011, with contributing properties in both Las Vegas and Macau.

There were 12,000 Asembia “heads in beds” throughout the conference, resulting in:

  • 2,364 pounds of discarded soap recycled from rooms
  • With the addition of plastic amenity bottles, the program diverted a total of 4,140 pounds of waste from southern Nevada landfills
  • Clean the World will manufacture 12,624 new bars of recycled soap that will benefit at-risk people

“I was so excited to emcee such a prestigious summit for Asembia at the Wynn, which is not only a fabulous venue but a socially responsible one,” Laura said. “You could really see their pride for the partnership as well as their company.”

The top two killers of children worldwide are pneumonia and diarrheal disease. Introducing young children to soap and information about how and when to use it helps exponentially in cognitive development. Clean the World combats this issue with a variety of programs, including cooperative agreements such as this one with Asembia and Wynn.

Laura’s meeting with the Wynn Housekeeping staff during their training was in celebration of this remarkable achievement, as well as many others.

“I was so happy to represent Clean the World while visiting the Wynn Las Vegas housekeeping managers and staff training,” she said. “It was a great way to celebrate the Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit.”

Las Vegas Residents With Intellectual Disabilities Learn Job Skills

Opportunity Village graduation ceremony.

Opportunity Village is a wonderful organization that provides opportunities for people who have intellectual disabilities. It provides a service for these individuals to gain job skills and experience they might otherwise not have the chance to learn. Clean the World Las Vegas is proud to partner with Opportunity Village and the men and women who serve our life-saving mission on a regular basis.

The young adults of Opportunity Village visit our Las Vegas warehouse to help sort bottled amenities. Clean the World Hygiene Kits rely heavily on recycled bottled amenities from hotel partners, and having several helping hands on a daily basis gives us the ability to increase our impact through repurposed hygiene amenities.

This is Clean the World’s third year as an Opportunity Village partner. The program runs like a regular school year, August through June, Monday through Friday. While working in the Clean the World warehouse, Opportunity Village participants learn a variety of skills throughout the workday.

“We teach them the responsibility of having a full-time job. Getting up early every morning, being on time every day, being accountable for the quality of their work, following directions, and how to behave in a professional environment,” says Kevin Williams, Clean the World Las Vegas Recycling Operations Center Manager.

The Clean the World and Opportunity Village partnership is instrumental in giving these young adults independence and allows them to contribute to a meaningful cause. During the program, Clean the World employees work alongside Opportunity Village participants, helping them improve their communication and patience. As a result, towards the end of the program around graduation time, there’s a visible rise in confidence and self-reliance among the workers.

Kevin spends time with the group every day throughout the program. “I can say that nothing I’ve done professionally to this point in my life makes me happier or prouder than the work we do with these kids. All they want is to be treated like adults and respected as such. A simple ‘great job today’ can make their whole week.”

The end of the year graduation ceremony is always a bittersweet experience. Clean the World employees enjoy working alongside these extraordinary individuals and love celebrating their achievements. As Opportunity Village students learn from our organization, our team also learns from them. We are so grateful for the partnership and their hard work. Clean the World looks forward to strengthening this relationship for years to come.

Hotel Room Attendants Have a Personal Connection to the Hygiene Mission

Claudia speaking to room attendants at the Orlando Marriott World Center.

Claudia speaking to room attendants at the Orlando Marriott World Center.

Clean the World often takes the time to visit hotels participating in our recycling program. It is a way to share the mission and empower the room attendants to make a difference in the world in a personal way. Attendants are on the forefront of the Global Hygiene Revolution. They are the ones who take the first step in diverting waste from landfills, the first step to providing someone with life-saving hygiene products. Clean the World’s Donya McSwain and Oscar Gonzalez recently visited Orlando Marriott World Center to inspire the staff. The day held inspiration and motivation for us all.

Donya and Oscar shared the message of how thousands of needless childhood deaths can be prevented with access to soap. They talked about the importance of each housekeeper, and the responsibility they hold in helping these children. Our team spoke to the group in both English and Spanish.

“The message seems to reach their heart in their native language,” Donya said.

On this visit, Donya and Oscar brought along Pastor Julio Brutus, a pioneer for the Clean the World’s mission. Pastor Brutus is the man who made it possible for our planes to land in parts of Haiti that were in dire need after Clean the World launched in 2009. He is a crucial member of the Clean the World family, helping reach thousands of children in Haiti throughout the years.

As the head pastor of the Evangelical Church of Haiti, he interacts with 100,000 members. More one million bars of soap have been distributed in Haiti through Pastor Brutus’ efforts alone.

Pastor Brutus delivered the message of Clean the World to the hotel employees in Haitian Creole, the native language of many staff members. He brought a guest, a young lady named Claudia. “As she was speaking in Haitian Creole, you could hear her stress, the importance of the housekeeping staff saving the soap so others can prosper,” Donya said.

Claudia runs a Medical Clinic in Haiti. She is on the front lines of illness, seeing the struggle every day. “Her message was so moving, she connected with the housekeeping staff, I didn’t know that I would be moved to tears from the response we received,” Donya said.

Housekeepers chimed in on the struggles their families and friends face at home in Haiti. One housekeeper stated that all the people she knows in her country are in need of the soap we provide.

Everything at Clean the World is about how we can positively affect the world around us. Our individual decisions and the actions we take here in our own nation, our own state, our own community have a global impact. Through our actions we can save lives with soap.

Language unites us, but even more important is our belief in helping others, the goal to create happier, healthier lives through our daily actions.

Since 2009, Orlando Marriott World Center has been able to contribute more than 16,000 pounds of discarded soap, allowing us to create 85,995 new bars of recycled soap. What an amazing accomplishment.

There are so many ways you can help your community and the world. To find out how you or your organization can make a difference through Clean the World, please contact us today.

Hygiene in Schools Program Helps Students Adopt Healthy Habits

Clean the World’s Oscar Gonzalez teaches proper hand washing techniques.

Clean the World is revolutionizing the way children learn health education in schools. Under the direction of Cairra Martin, our Global Health Coordinator, we are piloting the “Hygiene in Schools” program at two public schools in Orange County, Florida: Eccleston Elementary and Memorial Middle School.

The elementary years are a key time for hygiene education to ensure students build healthy habits while middle school is a pivotal time for children to learn hygiene as they are maturing.

Once a month, Clean the World staff members participate in this community giveback. They join students and parents for three hours after school, the period when some children are waiting for parents who are still at work.

“We are establishing a fun and interactive environment where we can educate the students and families on the correct amount of time needed to wash their hands properly while providing them with the hygiene amenities to follow through with their lesson at home,” Cairra says. “Each participant uses our CTW black light box to learn how germs travel and how proper hand washing is the best way to get your hand clean. We give each child a glowing solution for their hands, a visual representation of the true amount of germs on their hands.”

Under the black light, they can see where germs build up in nails, on the palm and in between the fingers.

“Once each participant is thoroughly grossed out by the germs, they then properly wash their hands for a full twenty seconds.” The kids come back to the black light box to check that they have no “glowing germs” on their hands. Often startled to see glowing, missed areas between their fingers, they rush back to the sink to vanquish the remaining “germs.” This experiment not only teaches the important of the length of time to wash one’s hands but also the importance of thoroughly scrubbing with soap.

The program includes interactive games teaching about germs, as well as fun activity sheets to take home. Cairra and the team are proud to say each household that engages with our program truly enjoys the experience and shows us that Clean the World is moving in the right direction to becoming the leader in hygiene education and awareness.

It is so important to grow the program right here in our home base of Orlando, where nearly one-fifth of all homeless public-school students across the state now live in Orange, Osceola or Seminole counties.

Nationally, an estimated 22 million school days are lost annually because of colds alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hand washing is the most simple and efficient way to combat these preventable illnesses. By providing this hygiene education, often not covered in the school curriculum, Clean the World bolsters children’s health to keep them confident and in the classroom.

Providing soap and hygiene education for continued childhood success and growth are a primary focus for Clean the World. With the success of our pilot program in Orlando, we are making plans to roll out Hygiene in Schools to communities throughout Florida and the United States. If you are interesting in funding hygiene education in schools, please visit cleantheworld.org/donate.

‘Soap in Schools’ Program Launches in Kenya

Thanks to the generous support of the Starwood Foundation, Clean the World recently launched a nine-month hygiene education program in a network of 12 schools across Kenya. The program serves more than 4,000 primary school children who live in extreme poverty in either urban slums or rural villages.

Clean the World managing director Sam Stephens with Kenyan students.

Clean the World managing director Sam Stephens with Kenyan students.

Unlike most of our international work, which we conduct through existing programs operated by other NGO partners, the Soap in Schools program is different. This time, we’ve designed and launched the program ourselves, and will engage other partners as necessary to accomplish our goals. The first steps were to identify the target population, conduct a baseline study to determine the “starting point” for measuring success going forward, design the hygiene education program to be implemented in schools, and train teachers to implement the programming.

Sam Stephens, managing director of Clean the World Foundation, traveled to Kenya in early March to conduct the baseline study and teacher training. Since then and through the end of 2016, ongoing hand-washing classes will teach the children how, when, and why to wash their hands – while also providing them, their families, and their schools with Clean the World soap.

The results of the baseline study showed an even greater need than we expected:

• Nearly 70 percent of the children suffered from a hygiene-related illness (diarrhea or pneumonia) in the previous month
• 80 percent had a hygiene-related skin infection during that time
• Nearly 40 percent had missed four or more days of school in the previous month as a result of these conditions

Our goal is to make these kids healthier and, therefore, help them attend school more often so they can receive the education they need to break the cycle of poverty.

Now that our hand-washing education and soap distribution are underway, we should see these problems getting much better in the coming weeks and months. We will measure our impact and progress every 90 days, so expect an update in June.

This outreach in Kenya is the first of many new Clean the World programs. We are about to launch a similar program in Tanzania. It’s a very exciting development, and it marks a big step forward in our mission to eradicate the top two killers of children globally.

‘He Got Up’ Was a Day of Celebration and Services for the Homeless

Clean the World’s mission has always been to help the less fortunate by providing health and hygiene to those in need in our community and across the world. On Easter Sunday, we fulfilled this mission on the local level by participating in “He Got Up,” a day of celebration and services for homeless individuals, families, and others in need.

Clean the World team members staffing the shower area at He Got Up.

Clean the World team members staffing the shower area at He Got Up.

This event at the Orlando Citrus Bowl stadium was the first of its kind. Homeless people from three Central Florida counties received free transportation to the Citrus Bowl, where the Orlando Serve Foundation took advantage of existing local resources to help people on the path to self-sustainability. They had access to food, various types of aid, and a resource fair that connected the unemployed to job readiness training and employment opportunities.

Clean the World joined forces with Orlando Serve Foundation to provide showers for every attendee. As the sun began to rise, the Clean the World team was ready and at their stations. Portable shower trailers had arrived, equipped with warm water and changing rooms. Each guest received a towel and hygiene amenities. Bathing is a something many of us take for granted. With the lack of proper shelter, the homeless often go without basic hygiene. And with fluctuating weather conditions, it can become difficult for our neighbors in need. Florida has one of the highest homeless populations in the United States. There are 30,000 homeless and “home-insecure” people in Central Florida alone.

He Got Up was an event to inspire and serve this population. As a community, we gathered in good will to share our time and services. The event offered haircuts, clothing, meals, and consultations with doctors, dentists, and optometrists. Legal services and job placement were also available. As a volunteer at the event, I saw the good it was doing. One man leaving the shower area said, “This shower made me feel human again.”

It was beautiful to see the positivity in people who face extreme adversity on a daily basis and to connect to the fact that we must love our neighbors as ourselves. As I sat in the stadium for the He Got Up service, many came with smiles; it was an extraordinary break from the mundane of daily life. The service was a message of hope and care the fulfilled the vision of organizer Tim Johnson. He is the senior pastor at Orlando World Outreach Center and a former defensive lineman in the National Football League, playing for Penn State, the Pittsburg Steelers and the Washington Redskins. Through Pastor Tim’s concept, Clean the World’s mission, and the community coming together, we were able to serve the less fortunate in a meaningful way by providing health, hygiene and confidence to all who visited.