Making a difference to rural sanitation

5/3/2017| 0:34

By taking simple but effective action, Mercure Bana Hills French Village and other Accor properties are helping poor rural communities in the north of Vietnam to protect their children against common illnesses and disease. Que Chi reports.

Soap is one of the most basic yet important personal hygiene products that helps prevent illness and disease. Around 18,000 children die around the world each day of diseases spread through poor hygiene.

In January 2017, the Mercure Bana Hills French Village and other Accor properties in Central Vietnam produced 410 bars of soap and distributed them to students from ethnic minority communities in Lai Chau district, Northern Vietnam.

The soup distribution programme was initiated by a Korean visitor enjoying a coffee in Mercure’s Café Planet 21, where soap is sold and information displayed about the project ‘Soap For Hope’. Through this project, used soap bars are recycled, treated and remoulded to make new soap. The project runs in collaboration with the organisation Sealed Air Diversey, who supply the hotel with the soap making and treating equipment.

The guest offered to buy 410 bars of soap to send to Hoang Lien school in Lai Chau district - an ethnic region he had visited on his journey through Vietnam. His offer was well received by the hotel and who then began to recruit other Accor hotels in Central Vietnam to assist in the production and supply of such a large quantity. With this support, the soap was produced and delivered in time for the Lunar New Year.

The money raised from selling the soap was donated to Accor’s preferred charity in Vietnam, the Smile group, helping children and families affected by HIV.

After receiving the soap Nguyen Hue, a teacher at Hoang Lien school commented, “Gastrointestinal illnesses and hand, foot, and mouth disease are common in this area because many families cannot afford basic hygiene necessities. Therefore, soap is very important to the wellbeing of the local children, playing a preventative role in healthcare.”

By Que Chi