It’s important to us at Soap Hope to make a greater impact.
Our mission incorporates both our dedication to providing natural and safe products for our customers, as well as our commitment to making opportunities available to underprivileged women around the world.
We do that by partnering with organizations like Esperanza International, a nonprofit that focuses on freeing children and their families from poverty.
When we first partnered with Esperanza, our cofounder, Salah Boukadoum had the opportunity to visit the Dominican Republic, to witness the impact that our organizations were making in communities in underserved countries.
That’s where Salah met Bienvenida, an entrepreneur who was able to grow her business through her own determination and with support from funds that she received.
“She started with nothing but vision and commitment,” Salah said. “With the support of a few small loans and training, and through her own hard work and dedication over many years, Bienvenida now has a convenience store, a restaurant, and a home anyone would be proud of.”
Bienvenida chose to build her home in the neighborhood she was a part of, demonstrating her own commitment to strong community and hope for the future.
Esperanza Means Hope
Eighty-seven percent of the loans that Esperanza disburses goes to women. Strictly from a business standpoint, women are more likely to pay back their loans and are less of a credit risk. Women like Bienvenida use their earnings to help educate their children and do good in their community.
Women like Bienvenida are key players in ending poverty and building up communities that are underserved.
“People do break out of the cycle of poverty,” says Esperanza International’s founder, Dave Valle. With financial support from organizations like Esperanza, serious issues like poverty can be addressed in the Dominican Republic.
And Esperanza doesn’t only provide microfinancing for these individuals. Their “microfinance plus” model is designed to address poverty and community development through a combination of financial services and health and education initiatives.
“It is designed to address the cultural, social, spiritual and economic forces that frequently prevent families from breaking the chains of poverty, so that they can be free to create their own brighter futures.”
Esperanza implements a number of programs focused on vocational training, literacy, health and hygiene. Health screenings and dental care are also made available in the communities where Esperanza works, helping individuals to “prevent various infections and illnesses, make nutritionally-sound dietary choices, create STD and HIV awareness, conduct self-exams for breast cancer, and encourage participation in cervical cancer testing.”
Esperanza recently announced that they’ll offer micro-insurance, the first product of its kind in the Dominican Republic.
“We are always looking for new ways to help children and their families and we know that one of the most vulnerable areas for our associates is their health. This is due to a deficient healthcare system in the DR, especially within the public hospitals. This service will give them to the ability to go to private clinics for treatment.”
And it’s through the opportunities that Esperanza makes available to women like Bienvenida that we can start to tackle widespread issues like poverty and education. It’s through these opportunities that we can spread hope.
To learn more about Esperanza International, visit their site here.
To learn more about Soap Hope’s mission, you can click here.
And remember — every dollar that you spend at Soap Hope goes towards a program like Esperanza. You can shop and spread hope by visiting our Soap Hope store.