To mark Global Handwashing Day (GHD) — October 15th — Unilever’s Lifebuoy brand has announced a significant expansion of its Help a Child Reach 5 campaign. Launched in February in Thesgora, India, a rural village known to have one of the highest rates of diarrhoea in the country, the campaign aims to end preventable deaths of children under five by changing hand-washing behaviors, one village at a time. Today, Lifebuoy has confirmed it will extend this program to communities and villages across 17 countries globally.
Distinguished Indian actor and Help a Child Reach 5 campaign advocate, Kajol, said, “Even today a child dies every 15 seconds of diseases that could have been prevented by the simple act of hand-washing with soap. This is not acceptable. This Global Handwashing Day, everyone has a role to play. Watch the Help a Child Reach 5 film and spread the word or donate to save lives at www.youtube.com/helpachildreach5 and Lifebuoy will match your donation. This Global Handwashing Day we can help more children celebrate their fifth birthday.”
Kajol is a voluntary campaign ambassador who last month attended the United Nations General Assembly Week to speak with world leaders and policy makers about the importance of hand-washing with soap as a critical communications campaign to be implemented in the post-2015 development agenda. She has also been instrumental in raising awareness of the issue by promoting the campaign’s landmark film, which highlights the tragedy of losing a child before their fifth birthday.
The hand-washing programs implemented as part of the Help a Child Reach 5 campaign are part of Lifebuoy’s broader hand-washing program portfolio, run in partnership with partners including PSI, Millennium Villages Partnership and UNICEF. Together, these programs 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 has changed the handwashing behavior of 130 million people across the world.