Derreck Kayongo, a Ugandan is CNN HERO, TOP 10 2011, Global Soap Project CEO

 Derreck Kayongo, a Ugandan is CNN HERO, TOP 10 2011, Global Soap Project CEO

Derreck Kayongo’s journey from child refugee to fearless visionary is filled with moments of inspiration (along with the benefits of good, old-fashioned sweat equity) that make him one of the most popular – and authentic – speakers on the circuit today. From Africa to Atlanta with nothing but a dream and tenacity, Kayongo beat the odds, earned an education, and has served in leadership roles in some of the world’s most respected NGOs since 1994.

Today, he shares his vivacious spirit and invaluable experience in the areas entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, global health, social justice and professional engagement with audiences in both the corporate and not-for-profit worlds.

“Derreck Kayongo has been a colleague of mine at CARE for several years. Derreck is not only a leader and social entrepreneur but also an agent of change. He has made it his mission to be a voice for the voiceless, poor and marginalized. He speaks with passion, eloquence and authenticity. His personal experience in overcoming tragedy at an early age and using the obstacles he faced as an opportunity to change the world around him is a powerful story of inspiration. He speaks from the heart with tremendous conviction, wit and humor about the power we all hold to make a difference in the lives of others.”
— Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH President and CEO, CARE

Derreck Kayongo’s ability to motivate others to understand the role their work and skills can play in problem solving is one of the many reasons he has been nominated as a 2011 CNN Hero. Add to that the mantra of being a voice for the voiceless through his noble work of giving back, including dedicating his life to improving the lives of marginalized and vulnerable people across the globe.

He has worked with the American Friends Service Committee as Program Director for the Southeast Peace Education program; joined Amnesty International as the Director of the Southeast Region; and currently serves as Senior Advocacy Coordinator for the Southeast region with CARE International.

In 2009, Kayongo and his wife Sarah embarked on a new journey pursuing their life-long passion of starting an NGO of their own. The Global Soap Project focuses on repurposing partially-used soap from hotels into new soap for needy populations, particularly in Africa. To date, The Global Soap Project has been able to donate 9,000 bars of soap to Swaziland, 5,000 bars to Kenya, 10,000 to Ghana, 1000 to Uganda and another 3,000 thousand to Haiti.


CNN HERO TOP 10 2011
Proclamation by the City of Atlanta May 2nd Global Soap Day signed by the City Council President and sponsored by Councilman Kwanza Hall.

Awarded the Outstanding service award for International Awareness and Involvement, Delta Sigma Sorority, 2011.

Winner of MAXX Entrepreneurship and Marketing Excellence AWARD, 2010.

Honored by Representative JOHN LEWIS with a Certificate of Congregational Recognition for Community Service, 2005 and 2007.

Awarded the Special Recognition for Valuable Service to the University of Florida Recurso, 2005

Election observer and monitor for the CARTER CENTER under President Jimmy Carter’s leadership, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.

Model United Nations award for Service to the Poor. From the Canterbury School, 2006.

Award winner of the Dekalb County Juvenile Court Community Service for excellence award, 2011.


  • Past member of the Lawrenceville Rotary Club
  • Past member of the United Nations Association
  • Former Board member of the East African American Business Council
  • Past Board member of the Uganda North American Association Atlanta

Founder and CEO of the Global Soap Project

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