Ethical Performance
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Unilever’s Lifebuoy expands infant life-saving programme

November 2013

Unilever’s soap brand, Lifebuoy, is to expand its Help a Child Reach 5 campaign. The campaign, which was launched earlier this year, sets out to end preventable deaths of children under 5 by changing the handwashing behaviours, one village at a time.

The pilot project was established in a rural village, Thesgora, known to have one of the highest rates of diarrhoea in India. Early results from Thesgora showed a significant impact on the health of the community. The programme will now extend to communities and villages across 17 countries globally.

Samir Singh, global brand vp, Lifebuoy said: “We know that handwashing with soap is one of the most effective and low cost ways to prevent diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea, which are responsible for the deaths of two million children under 5 years of age every year. In the past three years we have taught 130 million people healthy hand washing habits for life and integrated this successfully into our business model. Child mortality has gone down considerably, but there is still a long way to go.”

The handwashing programmes implemented as part of the Help a Child Reach 5 campaign are part of Lifebuoy’s broader handwashing programme portfolio, run in partnership with partners including PSI, Millennium Villages Partnership and UNICEF. Together, these programmes targeting school children, new mothers and community groups, all support Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan target – to help more than one billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020. So far Lifebuoy says it has changed the handwashing behaviour of 130m people across the world.

The Anglo Dutch conglomerate was also active for World Food Day last month. Its Foods category and Food Solutions business donated one million school meals through the Unilever Foundation to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to help end child hunger by improving the availability and nutritional quality of school meals around the world.

The Foundation ran a social media campaign to boost the campaign. For every ’like‘ received on the new School Meal Facebook app, endorsed by Unilever’s food brand pages including Knorr, Hellmann’s, Rama, Blueband and, the Unilever Foundation donated one school meal to WFP. 

Unilever | Global | Social Impact

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