Emboldened by its mission to improve the lives of Filipinos towards helping build a brighter future, Unilever Philippines kicked off the celebration of Global Handwashing Day last October 14, 2014 by making a commitment to teach proper handwashing to 1.5 million children in Metro Manila this 2014.
Globally, an estimated 3.5 million children die every year due to diarrhea and respiratory diseases. Millions more suffer from hepatitis A, influenza and measles. These illnesses and deaths can be prevented through the simple act of proper handwashing which eliminates disease-spreading germs.
“Guided by the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan which aims to improve the health and well-being of one billion people globally, Unilever Philippines strengthens its commitment to reduce the incidences of deaths and illnesses caused by diarrhea and respiratory ailments among children via our handwashing program,” said Mr. Chito Macapagal, Unilever’s VP for Corporate Affairs.
At the Mandaluyong Elementary School, Unilever and its partners—UNICEF, the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Public Health Administration, Fit for School, Knowledge Channel and Manila Water—pledged to educate 1.5 million children on proper handwashing. This is in addition to the 4 million Filipinos reached since the program started in 2010.
UNICEF’s Jon Villasenor gave a few notes on the relevance of proper handwashing, while host Dimples Romana and special guests, Jericho Rosales and the Bb. Pilipinas 2014 Queens, demonstrated to the students how to properly wash their hands with soap and clean water using a 5-step, 20-second process.
The affair culminated in a commitment ceremony which gathered officials of Unilever Philippines and its partners, the school community—students, parents, teachers and staff—together with other city officials, as they all pledged their hands and showed support for the life-saving education program.
The celebration of Global Handwashing Day on October 15, 2014 led by Unilever with Knowledge Channel will introduce proper handwashing lessons to 330 public elementary schools in the National Capital Region through video presentations and actual thorough handwashing activities during homeroom sessions. The kids will also be receiving kits on proper hand washing and soaps from Unilever to take home. In partnership with Manila Water, the Global Handwashing Day will also be experienced in various malls and schools to help teach 8,000 more kids.