Global Handwashing Day Educates Country Proper Handwashing

Top officials from various organizations demonstrate proper handwashing during the launch of the multi-sectoral “I Pledge My Hand to Save a Life” campaign spearheaded by Vaseline, which aims to educate 500,000 kids all over the country on proper handwashing in.

Present during the celebration in Shangri La Makati are the following VIPS:

Chito Macapagal, Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Unilever; Rina Lopez Bautista, President of Knowledge Channel; Gina Lorenzana, Vice President for Marketing, Unilever; Timothy Grieve, Chief of Water Sanitation and Hygiene Section, UNICEF; and Merlie Asprer, Operations Manager, Adopt A School.

Like millions of children around the world, the Filipino youth are exposed to harmful bacteria that cause diseases such as diarrhea and respiratory ailments. From getting their hands dirty while playing to touching objects that are contaminated by germs, kids unknowingly get in contact with elements that pose serious threats to their health. Each year, 3.5 million kids worldwide lose their lives due to these preventable diseases.

A clean hand saves lives and the simple act of handwashing with soap is the best and most cost-efficient way to rescue children from a gloomy fate. Thus, Unilever together with international partners UNICEF and the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW), has been spearheading Global Handwashing Day, an advocacy that aims to create global awareness on the importance of handwashing. Building the momentum it has established over the last five years, Vaseline continues to champion the health of children as it celebrates this year’s Global Handwashing Day on October 15.

Reaching out to more kids
As part of Unilever’s advocacy to build a Billion Better Lives and in line with the 2012 Global Handwashing Day, Vaseline is launching the awareness campaign Pledge Hands to Save Lives.

The movement has mobilized various groups and organizations such as UNICEF, the Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Knowledge Channel, and the Philippine Public Health Association to be part of the cause. This year, the brand aims to educate 500,000 kids all over the country on proper handwashing, on top of the 350,000 kids it has helped for the previous four years.

On October 13, over 1,000 children from Paco Catholic School will be joined by Unilever employees and the Manila City government, as they pledge their handwashing commitment to kick off this year’s series of initiatives for the advocacy.
Through its partnership with Knowledge Channel, the Department of Education, and Department of Social Welfare and Development, Vaseline will also educate hundreds of thousands of children as it visits more than 300 schools nationwide.

Be part of the pledge to save lives
Influencing others to take part in the advocacy is as quick and easy as washing one’s hands. Through the “I Pledge My Hand to Save a Life” website (www.pledgeyourhands.com), Vaseline encourages everyone to make a pledge of teaching another kid on proper and regular washing of hands with soap. At the Vaseline Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Vaseline), users can share with their families and friends photos and videos about handwashing.

“As we celebrate the fifth year of Global Handwashing Day, we hope to make its impact bigger through our increasing number of partners,” expressed Unilever’s Vice-President for Corporate Affairs, Mr. Chito Macapagal. “Unilever products have become part of millions of people’s everyday lives, which only inspires us to strengthen our commitment to care for our consumers especially children.”

The Global Handwashing Day is part of Unilever’s global advocacy under its “Billion Better Lives” program, which seeks to help one billion people worldwide improve their health and well-being by 2012.

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