Preventing COVID-19 One Bar of Soap At a Time

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in June, more than 500 women and men spread across the wide grassy area in front of the local Orthodox church. They were there as part of Project Ethiopia’s latest efforts to provide outreach, education, and soap to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable rural families.

For the past two months, Project Ethiopia staff have been working throughout the Dangla area to educate the community on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus and provide every household with hand soap – one of the most effective ways families can protect themselves against coronavirus as well as many infectious diseases.

As the pandemic continues to spread in the developing world, global health organizations emphasize the importance of handwashing as a key prevention measure against COVID-19. However, in many parts of the world, an estimated 40% of the world’s population, or 3 billion people, do not have a handwashing facility with soap and water at home.

In a short time, Project Ethiopia has distributed 3 large bars of soap to 1,867 households for a total of 5,601 bars of soap. Over the coming month, we will plan to reach out and distribute soap to an additional 3,000 households – 9,000 bars of soap in total!

“Distributing soap to the community gives us the opportunity to put more attention to the coronavirus pandemic,” reported Workineh, Genetu, Project Leader. He and the rest of the Project Ethiopia team know how important it is to get accurate and clear information to every household in the area. After a mandatory two-week lockdown in Dangla was lifted in May with no detected cases, villagers would often ask Workineh, “There is no coronavirus in our area. Why are you worried?” With Project Ethiopia’s long-standing reputation as a trusted and reliable community partner, Workineh and his team could share exactly why it is important to take preventative measures and be assured that the community was listening.

Check out the following video of the soap distribution in the Dengeshta community:

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