Soap. A product that is so well known yet so often overlooked because, quite simply, we all think it’s used everywhere, by everyone, every day, don’t we? Yet shockingly it has come to light that in the UK alone, where soap is ubiquitous in bathrooms up and down the country, only 1-5 people wash their hands with it after going to the loo. This might just seem like a nasty fact, but the reality is much more serious than that and, as is sadly so often the case, it’s the children in the world’s poorest countries that are suffering the most, where the lack of clean water and soap for hand washing is causing a devastating impact.
Enter Soaper Duper, the British Bath and Body brand who have not only conjured up the most heavenly products (real ingredients with none of the usual suspects – no plastic microbeads, parabens, phthalates or animal derivatives – the dream right?) but are committed to changing this problem. They’ve hooked us up with our fave couple right now, Instagram stars Clemmie Hooper (@mother_of_daughters) and her husband Simon (@father_of_daughters), who have just returned from Madagascar to see the situation first-hand, on behalf of WaterAid and Soaper Duper.
And as it’s Global Handwashing Day, we caught up with this power couple, to find out how they got on.
So Simon, what was it that made you decide to get so involved with this cause?
Both Clemmie and I had wanted to partner with a charity for while. We have a big following and we wanted to use that as a platform to talk about issues that are close to us as parents and to teach our girls that when people come together and focus on a problem, they can have a lasting positive influence. Clemmie is also a midwife, so she wanted to raise issues around birth and hygiene as they are dear to her heart.
So when we met with WaterAid to talk through the problems they are trying to overcome in places like Madagascar and their goal to giving everyone in the world access to clean water by 2030, we immediately wanted to help raise awareness of their work.
Access to clean water is something that we all take for granted here in the UK and something that we don’t give a second thought to – you just turn on the tap and out it comes. Yet there are millions of people all over the world that don’t have luxury and, as a result, are plagued by disease which hampers their ability to live normal family lives.
It also made sense to work with WaterAid as we wanted our girls to know more about the realities of the world around them. Being a child, parents tend to shelter you from some of the harsh realities that are out there, but we felt that we needed to show our girls that there are people out there a lot less fortunate than us and that we all have the ability to make a difference. Soaper Duper, the British natural beauty brand are proud sponsors of WaterAid, so we partnered with them and WaterAid to being the importance of hand washing with soap to life.
What was the most unforgettable moment of the trip?
The most unforgettable moment for me was celebrating my 35th birthday in a remote rural village with 100 kids singing happy birthday to me as the sun set over the mountains. despite being in a community were people had next to nothing, let along access to clean water, they went out of my way to make we feel welcome. they even gave me a live chicken as a gift (which I donated back to family in the community). I’m usually someone that can keep my emotions in check, but that really blew me away and I had to quietly wipe a tear from my eye.
Top 3 facts we need to know about why proper hand washing is so important?
Washing your hands with soap properly for 20 seconds (or singing happy birthday twice) can help reduce the chance of spreading communicable diseases like E. Coli and diarrhoea by as much as 40%
1 in 5 people in the UK don’t wash their hands after going to the loo. think about that next time you’re shaking someone’s hand! No wonder colds and sick bugs can spread around offices like wild fire!
Washing hands with soap and water can literally save lives. over 4000 children die each year in Madagascar as a result of diarrhoea from dirty water and poor hygiene but with education and access to clean water and soap, we can reduce that number.
Madagascar in your own words?
An amazing and diverse country, filled with welcoming open people. But don’t be deceived by it’s beauty, there are some fundamental underlying problems in Madagascar that are stopping people reach their potential.
What can our readers do to get more involved in raising awareness for Global Hand washing Day today but also in the future?
Download a free Soaper Duper handwashing guide and reward chart and win one of 100 Soaper Duper handwashing kits from @mother_of_daughters page today. You can also head over to wateraid.org to learn more about the amazing work that WaterAid are undertaking across the world and how they aim to bring access to clean water to everyone on the planet by 2030.