CNN Top Hero was International Education Week Keynote Speaker
As part of International Education Week last week, Derreck Kayongo visited Lock haven University as the keynote speaker. Kayongo, founder of the Global Soap Project and one of CNN Top Heroes, is a true example of someone thinking on a global scale. Originally from Uganda, Kayongo and his family fled to Kenya after living under the dictatorship of Idi Amin, and eventually relocated to the US.
The son of a man who made soap, Kayongo was surprised to see how much soap was wasted in American hotels; this was the beginning of the Global Soap Project. Although it took many years to build, the GSP has distributed soap in many countries and helped many people who would be much more susceptible to disease without soap. Kayongo’s perseverance was just one moral of his story.
Speaking to a packed Hamblin Hall, Kayongo used his energy to keep the attention of the audience while he spoke about the importance of being involved in big stories and doing big things. He shared his experiences – from coming to the US as a Ugandan refugee, to his first soap making experience, to the present success of the Global Soap Project – Kayongo talked about failures and triumphs and how to learn from all experiences.
“Falling short is not failure,” Kayongo said. He encouraged the audience to keep working towards their goals and that even if they are falling short, to fall in the right direction. The success of the Global Soap Project was the result of many falls in the right direction, Kayongo said. To end the night, Kayongo got the audience involved and taught them the words to an African song (see link below). Singing in Swahili and dancing ended the program on a high note. Derreck Kayongo is one example of a global citizen that has made a difference and he challenged everyone he spoke with to do the same thing.