Our story begins in 2013 in a small village on the Thai-Myanmar border when our founder, Erin, met a group of school children who had no knowledge of how to use soap. She realized then that there was a huge necessity for education and access to basic hygiene products. Children around the world were dying without access to these products, while large-scale operations such as hotels were throwing bars of soap into landfills after just one use.
Motivated to provide a hand-up versus a hand-out to these communities in need, Erin founded the Sundara Fund in 2013. Through recycling soap, Sundara has continuously helped to protect the environment, bring soap to those who can't afford it, and gives economic opportunities to unemployed women. In addition, Sundara has increased rates of hand washing in all of the communities we’ve worked in.
Throughout our time working in various low to middle income countries, we were approached by many talented entrepreneurs - all with ideas on how they could improve their own communities. Each business idea was met with the challenges of lack of funds and resources, which prevented them from turning their idea into a reality.
It’s clear to us that while talent is equally distributed, capital and resources are not. Motivated by this injustice, RISE empowers women to establish or continue to manage small, sustainable businesses that improve their local communities through access to clean water, sanitation and good hygiene, in all its forms. Whether it is soap recycling, installing essential and eco-friendly toilets, or creating reusable menstrual pads for women and girls. We are utilizing our past knowledge and expertise to become a grant-giving organization and a thought leader in the water, sanitation and hygiene fields.
Foster dignity and respect, it’s a fundamental human right to be clean and healthy with access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
Champion creativity and good ideas that provide sustainable, long-term income generation and positive community impact.
Responsive to those in need, open to embracing change championing good solutions that bring long-lasting change.
Breathe confidence and empowerment into underprivileged women who suffer disproportionately from economic and social inequality.