Friday, November 1, 2013

Unilever Celebrates Global Handwashing Day, Pledge Hands To Save Lives

The Global Handwashing Day reminds us of keeping ourselves to be clean and healthy.  Making the habit of handwashing keeps us away from sickness and other diseases.  

Last mid of October, Unilever Philippines lead the celebration of the Global Handwashing Day here in the Philippines.   Themed as "Pledge Hands to Save Lives" they had the kick off at Aurora Quezon Elementary School in San Andres, Manila.  Joining the celebration was students and teachers of the said school together with some dignitaries like Manila Councilor Roland Valeriano and celebrities like Unilever soap endorser Vicky Morales and reigning Bb. Pilipinas – Universe Arielle Arida who pledge their hands to save lives.  This is Unilever Philippines' way of continuing their commitment to help improve a billion better lives worldwide by 2020, and ultimately uplifting the lives of Filipinos everyday.

A global commitment through its Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, the country’s leading personal care company is targeting to teach proper handwashing to 3 million children nationwide, increasing the program’s reach from just 1 million in the previous years.

With its noble goal, Unilever’s Global Handwashing Day celebration has gained the full support of global partner UNICEF, and local partner agencies such as the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Philippine Public Health Association, Fit for School, Inc., Knowledge Channel and the City Government of Manila.

The handwashing demonstration was led by celebrity host Tuesday Vargas and popular child actor Zaijan Jaranilla.  It was shown in detail itemizing the seven-step process of proper handwashing, which takes around 20 seconds:  
  1. rub palms together, 
  2. rub the back of both hands, 
  3. interlace fingers and rub hands together, 
  4. interlock fingers and rub the back of fingers of both hands, 
  5. rub thumb in a rotating manner followed by the area between index finger and thumb for both hands, 
  6. rub fingertips on palm for both hands, 
  7. rub both wrists in a rotating manner 

Everyone pledge their hands to save lives then afterwards the celebration of handwashing tookplace which was held led by Unilever Vice President for Personal Care Gina Lorenzana, Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Chito Macapagal and their advocacy partners where 1,000 students washed their hands the proper way with soap, following the technique they learned from the demonstration of host Tuesday Vargas and popular child actor Zaijan Jaranilla.

To further promote the awareness on the importance of practicing good hygiene, Unilever’s Macapagal talked about the dangers of washing with water alone, a practice alarmingly commonplace in developing nations. “Studies show that washing with water alone does not kill disease-causing germs,” he said. “Washing with soap and clean water is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of hepatitis A, influenza, measles, diarrhea and respiratory diseases, the last two being known to kill three and a half million kids every year globally.”

“We can help put a stop to these deaths if we just follow the simple habit of regularly and properly washing our hands with soap and clean water,” Macapagal stressed.

UNICEF’s Timothy Grieve stressed that proper handwashing goes hand in hand with access to toilets, as it is most important to wash our hands after using the toilet. “With UNILEVER’s support, UNICEF is working with government, local government units and non-governmental organizations to increase access to toilets and promote proper hygiene in the poorest communities in the Philippines,” he declared. He further cited the UNICEF-UNILEVER partnership in the Philippines as part of a global initiative to ensure healthy and nurturing environment for all children.

Going beyond instilling the life-saving habit of handwashing with soap, respected newscaster Vicky Morales also headed a pledging ceremony to help develop the habit of proper handwashing.

Everyone can also take part of this commitment one step further by pledging and volunteering to teach proper handwashing to children at

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