Humanitarian, entrepreneur Derreck Kayongo to visit Penn State Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Derreck Kayongo, a successful entrepreneur, former CEO, and renowned human-rights activist, will visit Penn State Harrisburg at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Mukund S. Kulkarni Theatre (SEC Building) to present his journey of survival, social entrepreneurship, and humanitarianism.

Kayongo’s presentation, “Harnessing Your Power to Create Change,” will discuss the hurdles he faced to success, from arriving in America as a Ugandan refugee, to establishing his own humanitarian organization, Global Soap Project, a company that collects discarded and unused soap from thousands of hotels worldwide, reprocesses it, then distributes it to in-need populations around the world. The project was born from his observation about how much soap is available in hotels, and how much is thrown away when guests leave. From this, he developed an innovative idea that is now battling global health issues in 90 countries. Hygiene-related diseases, and the resulting deaths, have been reduced in many at-risk communities, thanks in part to Kayongo’s problem-solving. 

Kayongo’s passion for helping others and commitment to innovative thinking led him to the role of CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. During his time as CEO, he elevated the global visibility of the center, showcasing stories of victims of civil rights abuse and the heroic actions that changed the course of history.

The event is sponsored by the Student Activities Fund. It is free and open to the public, though registration is required. To reserve tickets, visit