Here’s another installment in our Friday Workshop series where we report on the weekly workshops conducted for and sometimes by our tutoring staff.

Since volunteer Belina Modest came on board back in July, the workshops have been “cookin’ with gas” as my Jamaican great-granny used to say, but when Belina is not facilitating, we invite individual tutors to run a session on a topic they know/enjoy or we host guest facilitators as was the case with The Songambele Initiative when they came to discuss ways in which we can support people with disabilities.

On Friday, August 21st, we held a workshop run by guest facilitators from Pamoja Tunaweza Boys and Girls Club which works with out-of-school youth to provide them life skills and vocational training, primarily through the arts.  I have known the club’s local director Morgan Amani for many years and Augustino and Team Toa reached out to him to further forge a relationship between the club and our cadre of tutors who we thought could benefit from some of the skills they have honed.  Please have a read-through of the report from Moshi below in which our tutors received instruction in how to make soap at home!

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“Mr. Morgan introduced his co-facilitator Madam Glory and explained a bit about PTBGC before introducing the topic at hand: soap-making.

Glory began the session by asking questions to the attendees concerning the topic and then she gave out the methods she was going to use in presenting which were theoretical and practical, but she also suggested using a participatory method in presenting the topic.

Furthermore, she explained things to consider in soap-making including personal safety like covering the head with a hat or a piece of cloth, wearing masks, gloves, an overall coat, glasses, and plastic shoes.  The environment should be clean with no children present and without wind; there should be accessibility to water.  The soap-maker should have enough plastic buckets, wooden spoons, jugs, food spoons, cups and bowls.

Mr. Morgan continued with the session by mentioning the materials needed in soap-making which are sulfonic acids, sodium laureth sulphate, caustic soda, formalin, glycerine, salt, color, perfume, CDEA. HCL, and soda ash.

Also, he gave different examples of liquid soap such as shampoo, hand wash, laundry soap, dish wash, toilet cleaner, and general soap.  The facilitator continued explaining the materials needed in making each type of soap and the amount required.

Morgan then suggested two types of soap such as hand wash and toilet cleaner which he was going to teach practically and selected some tutors to participate.

The first activity involved making hand wash, and the tutors who participated had to wear masks and gloves.  In a bucket of 15 liters of water, they added half liter of sodium laureth sulphate and then started to stir in the same direction for about 25 minutes until the ingredients were well mixed.  Then they added sulfonic acid and continued to stir, and after that they added soda ash and continued to stir in the same direction.  Next, glycerine was added and again the tutors continued to stir the mixture in the same direction.  Salt and color were then added and lastly they added perfume and stirred until the mixture became heavy and the hand wash soap was ready for use.

The second activity involved making a toilet soap or toilet cleaner.  The same process used in making hand wash is used in making toilet soap but the difference is that formalin was introduced and added among the ingredients.

When Mr. Morgan and Madam Glory wrapped up the workshop, they went over some questions with all the participants such as:

  • What are the materials used in soap-making?
  • What are common colors of liquid soap?
  • What is the difference between hand wash and toilet cleaner?
  • Do you think you can make soap at home?

The tutors left the workshop with the knowledge acquired about soap-making and how it should be put to use practically in order to benefit from it.”

Ahsanteni sana Morgan, Glory and everyone from PTBGC!  Karibuni tena Toa Nafasi!!