In a significant step towards improving child health and hygiene, Unilever Bangladesh Ltd (UBL) and BRAC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch UBL's brand Lifebuoy's hand hygiene programme for school children.
The MoU signing ceremony took place at UBL's Corporate Office, where Nilushi Jayatileke, Personal Care Head and Marketing Director of Unilever Bangladesh Ltd., and Hossain Ishrath Adib, Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Integrated Development Programme (IDP), BRAC, formalised the partnership, reads a press release.
The signing ceremony was attended by Shamima Akhter, Director-Corporate Affairs, Partnerships and Communications at Unilever Bangladesh Ltd., Farzana Ferdous, Marketing Manager, Skin Cleansing, Unilever Bangladesh Ltd. and Zillur Rahman, Programme Head, WASH, BRAC, among other high officials of the respective organisations.
Lifebuoy, the world's No1-selling germ-protection soap, has long been dedicated to empowering mothers and ensuring healthier lives for their children by promoting improved hygiene practices, with a special emphasis on the simple yet impactful act of handwashing.
The brand's Handwashing Behaviour Change Programme, which has been running since the 1990s, has reached over 1.1 crore school children, evolving from a basic handwashing initiative into a comprehensive mission to elevate hand hygiene standards and advocate for better hygiene habits.
With its 21-day habit change programme, Lifebuoy consistently conveys the crucial message that "A simple act of handwash with soap can save millions of lives from diseases."
This year, Lifebuoy is taking its commitment to the next level by partnering with the world's number 1 and largest NGO—BRAC—to roll out the 21-day behaviour change programme across Bangladesh. The project plans to reach 1500 schools across 67 upazillas in 14 districts throughout Bangladesh, educating 730,000 school students on the significance and proper techniques of handwashing with soap, and encouraging children to extend their knowledge beyond the classroom by sharing the techniques within their families.
Nilushi Jayatileke, Personal Care Head and Marketing Director, Unilever Bangladesh Ltd., said, "Teaching children the importance of handwashing from an early age not only helps protect them from illnesses but also extends the knowledge to their families. When children become advocates for handwashing within their households, it creates a ripple effect, leading to a healthier generation and a healthier future for the entire community. Lifebuoy is determined to forge an impactful partnership with BRAC to ensure that every child in Bangladesh grows up without preventable diseases through the habit of washing hands with soap"
Hossain Ishrath Adib, Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Integrated Development Programme (IDP) said, "Through the Hand Hygiene Collaboration with Lifebuoy, we at BRAC are excited to collaborate with Unilever on promoting a cleaner, healthier future in Bangladesh. Together, we are driving the cause of hand hygiene, directly contributing to SDG 6.2 as well as the Hand Hygiene for all Bangladesh Roadmap, and positively impacting 0.73 million students. This collaboration reaffirms our commitment to investing in the future generation towards achieving a brighter, healthier, and enlightened generation."
The MoU signed between Unilever and BRAC underscores their collective commitment to making a lasting impact on the lives of millions of people in Bangladesh. Together, they aim to create a healthier, safer, and more hygienic future for the nation's children.