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Saving lives by washing hands

Saving lives

by washing hands

Every year, 6.6 million children around the world won’t live to see their fifth birthdays because of diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea. Find out how Lifebuoy senior brand manager, William Van Der Westhuizen, is putting the power back into the hands of the community through simple education.

Like so many other countries, young South African children miss millions of school days every year due to avoidable illness. This puts a financial strain on their families and impacts their educational development.

Although these containable diseases are avoidable, they continue to plague our most vulnerable communities every day. Research shows that washing hands with soap, at key occasions, can reduce the risk of diarrhoea by up to 45%!

When William Van Der Westhuizen found out about the impact that Lifebuoy soap could have on these numbers, he knew that he was in the right position to make a difference.

“When I started working on Lifebuoy, one of the first things I learned about was the amazing impact the brand could have in South Africa, with its hand washing programs.”

Saving lives by washing hands

In 2012, Lifebuoy soap set out to make that difference in South Africa.

An educational 21-day, habit-building program, ‘School of 5’, was launched with the sole purpose of teaching school children to wash their hands on 5 key occasions. By getting into the habit of washing their hands after using the toilet, before eating, and when bathing, children would be able to drastically reduce their chances of falling ill; keeping them healthier and happier than before.

After the first project, the campaign was successfully rolled out to reach 2.2 million people by the end of 2013.

“I found the brands social mission incredibly inspiring and exciting to work on. In 2014, we extended the reach of School of 5 by over 3 million South Africans.”

Saving lives by washing hands

William’s hope for the future is to reach as many people as possible and, ultimately, change South Africa for the better.

“What continues to excite me is the potential to reach millions of South Africans,” says William.

“So far, through the School of 5 campaign and Global Hand Wash day, we have touched the lives of over 8 million people. For me, that is what working on a brand with purpose is all about”

With an attitude like that, William and those behind School of 5 have made the world a better place and we’re proud to say we’re right behind them.

If you are behind us, help us spread the word by watching and sharing the Lifebuoy mission now and get involved on Facebook to teach your children about germs through our fun, interactive ‘Soap’Em’ game.

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Our progress

Over 3 million

people reached in South Africa

For me

Share these fun activities with your children

to help them learn about germs

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For the world

Take Climate Action

Join Unilever and Wildlands to help plant one million trees and create a bright future for generations to come.

Act now

Sign up to support brightFuture

and you will be updated on projects and work being done.

Act now

Our progress

Over 3 million

people reached in South Africa

For me

Share these fun activities with your children

to help them learn about germs

Act now

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