Soap making adds extra skills for beneficiaries’ earning potential

In a boisterous training session under a canopy set up next to the Challenging Heights office in Sankor, more than seventy women (and some men!) participated in a soap making training session.

From students, to elderly grandparents, the participants were eager to learn how to make liquid and solid soaps that they could use for their families, sell from the market, their store fronts or sell to restaurants or other businesses.

Rebecca Arhin was one participant who says the group learned a lot in terms of how to make liquid and bath soaps. She says they were far easier to make than anticipated and that the soaps, especially liquid, could be used for many things like bathing, clothes washing, or hand washing. Enjoying the hands-on approach to learning, Rebecca says it’s good to have a skill or item to create to sell. Learning this skill, Rebecca says, is a huge benefit to women who are at home not working, but even those who do can better their lives. Whether someone is self-employed, a student, or working for another, soap making is a way to improve one’s self marketability. Rebecca is a student studying marketing; she says she will make it in the house and sell it in the market as an added income.

“It helps a lot because most of the women here learn to do fishing and smoking the fish, so as they are smoking the fish, and selling, you can as well learn the soap and sell the soap as well. If the fishing selling doesn’t go well, you can attach the soap to it to make it work,” says Rebecca.

Chiming in with similar sentiment, Sabina Owusu is appreciative to know the details of soap making, but also learned important tips in how to care for her children, farming and other comprehensive learning topics. She’s happy that now that she can make soap, she expects to work and make good money to support her family.

Sabina is a seamstress in Aboso, a town near the Challenging Heights Hovde House Rehabilitation Shelter, and she says she plans to make soap and sell it alongside garmets in her shop. “So when people come and [I] sew their things I will let them know how it is and they will buy to wash their things and it will help me too to look [after] my children, to pay my children’s school fees and many many things at home.”

A step ahead of many in the training class, Sabina says she already has some small cash in a bank account from her seamstress business that she can use to start her soap making. She says she will now be able to teach her friends how to make soap so they can start their own small businesses, too. Without much prior knowledge about Challenging Heights before this training, Sabina is impressed with its work and hopes that funding for trainings like this will continue because she finds them so helpful.