Tag Archives: Unilever

New business-led coalition for market-based sanitation for the poor

Toilet Board Coalition logoOn World Toilet Day, Unilever announced the launch of The Toilet Board Coalition. The aim of the new coalition is to tackle  open defecation using market-driven solutions.

The Toilet Board Coalition brings together some of the most forward-thinking organisations in the sanitation space: Firmenich, Kimberly-Clark, LIXIL Corporation and Unilever represent the business sector; Dr Val Curtis of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Barbara Evans of the University of Leeds bring academic rigour to the table; and a number of development sector and governmental bodies bring their one-of-a-kind resources and specialist knowledge: Agence Française De Développement; the Asian Development Bank; the UK’s Department for International Development; Stone Family Foundation; WaterAid; Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP); Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC); the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Programme; the World Toilet Organization; Water and Sanitation for Africa; and UNICEF.

Toilet Board Coalition publications

Toilet Board Coalition publications

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Lifebuoy premieres heart-breaking new film about the importance of handwashing

lifebuoy5 June 2014, London – In a follow up to its award-winning film, Gondappa, Unilever’s health soap, Lifebuoy has released a compelling new film, Tree of Life. The aim is to support Lifebuoy’s Help a Child Reach Five campaign and spread the word about the importance of handwashing with soap. The film is the story of a mother’s love, loss and longing after losing her child to a preventable disease such as diarrhoea.

unileverThe film follows a mother’s journey of love, loss and longing through her unique relationship with a tree, that highlights the importance of handwashing with soap. Tree of Life is inspired by folklore and this moving story is used to dramatise Lifebuoy’s Help a Child Reach 5 campaign.

A year ago Lifebuoy adopted Thesgora, a village in India and through its handwashing programmes dramatically improved children’s hand washing habits so that they now washed their hands 2 additional times per day. This year Lifebuoy takes its life saving mission to Bitobe in Indonesia and has created Tree of Life to raise awareness of their important mission.

Every 15 seconds, one child dies from diarrhoea or pneumonia, diseases that are preventable through the simple act of handwashing with soap.  That is 1.7 million children every year. Lifebuoy has taken its handwashing behaviour change programmes to 183 million people across the world, and now it is committed to change the handwashing behaviour of a billion people by 2015. This is part of Unilever’s commitment to help more than one billion people to improve their health and hygiene by 2020 under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

Samir Singh, Global Brand VP, Lifebuoy, “It is unacceptable that 1.7 million children die every year from infectious diseases when we have cost effective lifesaving solutions, such as handwashing with soap, readily available. We wanted to tell the world the Lifebuoy story in a deeply emotional way and turn the Help A Child Reach 5 campaign into something personal and powerful.”

Unilever Lifebuoy Handwashing Campaign Reduces Diarrhea

Unilever Lifebuoy Handwashing Campaign Reduces Diarrhea from 36& to 5% in Indian Village unilever-logo

March 2014 – Unilever’s health soap Lifebuoy has this month announced the results of its Help A Child Reach 5 handwashing programmes launched in Thesgora, India, noting an overwhelming drop in incidence of diarrhoea from 36% to 5%.

The decrease in diarrhoea in this village – known for having one of the highest rates in India of this deadly yet preventable disease – was observed over the period of Lifebuoy’s intervention in an independent evaluation of 1485 households with children aged below 12 years, conducted by Nielsen in September 2013.

Lifebuoy’s Help A Child Reach 5 campaign aims to eradicate preventable deaths from diseases like diarrhoea one village at a time through teaching lifesaving handwashing habits. The campaign was launched with an award winning film http://www.youtube.com/helpachildreach5 and handwashing initiatives in Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh.

These new results show that handwashing programmes have significant positive impact on both the handwashing behaviours and health of a community. Lifebuoy’s handwashing programmes are now being rolled out to villages across a further eight countries and scaled up in India to reach 45 million people.

Handwashing With Soap Can Help Us Achieve the Millennium Development Goals

Handwashing With Soap Can Help Us Achieve the Millennium Development Goals by Myriam Sidibe, Global Social Mission Director, Unilever-Lifebuoy | Source: Huffington Post blog, July 6, 2013

Being able to live a clean, active and healthy life should be a basic human right. Yet, this is not a privilege that everyone has — a point underscored by two high level reports last week.

Myriam Sidibe is Lifebuoy’s Global Social Mission Director.

Myriam Sidibe is Lifebuoy’s Global Social Mission Director.

UNICEF’s latest report reminds us that pneumonia and diarrhoea are the biggest killers of children globally, causing the deaths of approximately two million children under the age of five, every year. Meanwhile the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that despite significant progress, the world is unlikely to meet the fourth Millennium Development Goal — to reduce child mortality by two-thirds from 1990 levels.

Both reports come at a critical point in time: the world has less than three years to scale-up efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. At Unilever we want to scale-up our own efforts on this front.

UNICEF’s report points to areas where business can help achieve the fourth Millennium Development Goal. Not only can diarrhoea and pneumonia be prevented through basic best practices, including frequent handwashing with soap at key occasions, but also more awareness raising campaigns could reduce deaths caused by pneumonia by 30 percent and diarrhoea by 60 percent — potentially saving more than two million children by 2015. This would be a significant progress in the aim to achieve the fourth Millennium Development Goal and reduce infant mortality.

Although we’re seeing a steady increase in awareness raising campaigns that demonstrate the link between health and good hygiene — from the WHO’s Clean Care is Safe Care programme through to the Global Public Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap — more needs to be done to ensure that governments prioritise hygiene education programmes.

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Viet Nam: world’s first Unilever-sponsored Toilet Academy opens in 2012

Unilever is partnering with the World Toilet Organization (WTO) to set up Domestos Toilet Academies around the world, starting with a pilot Academy in Viet Nam opening in 2012.

The Domestos Toilet Academy will run month-long training courses for local people interested in setting up their own businesses to source, sell and maintain toilets, and educate local communities on the importance of sanitation.

In Viet Nam, only half the population has ‘some sort’ of sanitation facility, and 82% do not have access to facilities that meet the hygiene standards of the country’s Ministry of Health. “Only 12% of schools actually have hygienic toilet access, with rural areas suffering the most”, said WTO founder Jack Sim.

Unilever will also be partnering with UNICEF to help promote health through improved hygiene and access to toilets, stated Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever.

Domestos is the Unilever brand name for its bleach products (also sold as Domex, Glorix, Klinex).

Source: Unilever, 14 Nov 2011

Kenya, Nairobi: Unilever enrols 100,000 schoolchildren in handwashing drive

Unilever through its Lifebuoy soap brand has reached 100,000 students in over 80 schools across Nairobi County its hand washing campaign. The “School of Five” campaign aims to get over one million people across Kenya to pledge to the habit of washing their hands with soap on five occasion throughout the day with the help of trained school children and teachers. The campaign is being jointly implemented by Lifebuoy Kenya and Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP).

Lifebuoy School of Five poster

Unilever contracted popular Kenyan singer Esther Wahome, in a two-year “multi-million shilling” deal, to act us brand ambassador  for the Lifebuoy School of Five campaign. In line with the campaign. Mrs Wahome has released a handwashing jingle dubbed Osha Mikono (Wash your hands) to accompany the campaign.

A 2010 clean hands study conducted to check the hand washing habits of Kenyans found that only 15 per cent are aware of the proper hand washing techniques.

Visit the Lifebuoy Facebook page

Source: Stanley Njenga, Nairobi Star / allAfrica.com, 09 Jul 2011 ; Hot Secrets, 25 Apr 2011

Asia: Unilever to take Project Shakti global

Unilever has begun replicating Hindustan Unilever’s (HUL) rural micro-enterprise [in India], led by women-entrepreneurs, Project Shakti in several international markets.

The project was started in 2001 to empower underprivileged rural women by providing income-generating opportunities [by selling soap, shampoo and other pesronal care products], health and hygiene education. Rural women are appointed as Vanis (communicators) and trained to communicate in social forums like schools and village get-togethers. There are over 45,000 Shakti entrepreneurs covering over 135,000 villages across 15 Indian states.

The project has emerged as a successful low-cost business model and enhanced HUL’s direct rural reach in the so-called media-dark regions. Armed with micro-credit, rural women become direct-to-home distributors of Unilever brands in rural markets. Overall, around 50% of Hindustan Lever’s revenues came from the rural markets in India.

The effort is expected to help Unilever tap fresh growth avenues in emerging markets [which now contribute around 44% to global revenues] up in the face of recessionary trends in the US and Europe [and] the saturation of urban markets.

The project is being customised and adapted in other Unilever markets such as Sri Lanka, Viet Nam and Bangladesh. It is being considered for other Latin American and African markets. In Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, it is being promoted as Joyeeta and Saubaghya, respectively. There is a similar initiative in Viet Nam as well.

Related news: Lifebuoy sells handwashing along with 2.6 billion bars of soap across Africa and Asia, Source Bulletin, May 2007

Source: Kala Vijayraghavan, The Economic Times, 19 Jan 2009