Unilever, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, launched a hygiene and sanitation programme in 15 000 schools which will impact 4,5 million South Africans over five years. Despite these efforts, there is still much to be done to ensure that all schools in the country have proper water and sanitation.
Domestos, in partnership with Department of Basic Education, seeks to alleviate the problem with a solution-driven, social media campaign called “Would you go here?”
World Toilet Day seeks to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis, where some 2.4 billion people are currently affected worldwide. As such, Domestos, who has been committed to helping protect families from germs for more than 80 years, believes that everyone has a duty to ensure that the Rights of Children are exercised, which includes the right to education and good sanitation.
Domestos recently challenged South Africa’s top influencers and celebrities to visit Inkwenkwezi Primary School in Diepkloof, Soweto, Johannesburg and use the toilets that learners are currently using.
These visits have been captured on video and shared on social media, showing the celebrities’ emotional roller coaster ride when they’re met with the reality of poor sanitation in some schools.
“Domestos believes that focusing on problems raises awareness, however, literally taking action, has the power to make a real difference. In this spirit, the campaign shows hope in action when toilets at the school were revamped and unveiled ahead of World Toilet Day, on 17 November at the school,” says Domestos Senior Brand Manager, Ant Borstlap.
Today, celebrities used the revamped toilets and guests were treated to a rendition of the national anthem by learners. Several speakers addressed the audience, including officials from UNICEF, the Department of Basic Education and the Domestos team spoke on the School Renovation Programme.
2 The key objectives of the Department of Basic Education are to increase knowledge and awareness of health promoting behaviours.
3 In line with this vision, Unilever launched a partnership with the Department of Basic Education for a hygiene and sanitation programme in over 15,000 primary schools. The programme is designed to help decrease preventable diseases associated with unhygienic conditions with the aim of increasing learner attendance.
4 According to the World Health Organisation, without proper toilet facilities, one child dies every 15 seconds from diseases such as diarrhoea, caused by oral faecal contamination. “Being involved in key programmes and partnerships is an integral part of Domestos’ efforts to address South Africa’s sanitation challenge,” continues Borstlap.
Domestos has been active in fighting sanitation problems in the country since 2010 and has held various sanitation programmes in local schools and communities. Through the Domestos’ Germ Busters Club programme and Cleaner Toilets Brighter Future campaign, the brand has impacted the lives of over a million children in 1237 South African schools.
Luc-Olivier Marquet, Chairman of Unilever SA, says, “We have committed to helping 25 million people globally to gain improved access to toilets by 2020. We want to actively change that and help improve everyone’s health.”
UNICEF Country Representative to South Africa, Mr Herve Ludovic de Lys, said “Public-private partnerships are crucial to advancing the agenda for children. Only a focused, collective effort will ensure that even more children and young people in South Africa benefit from improvements in sanitation access and services.”
“The Unilever and the Department of Basic Education partnership is committed to creating a brighter future for learners with the objective of enabling them to reach their full potential by improving sanitation in South Africa and educating learners about the importance of good health and hygiene habits.” concludes the Department of Basic Education Deputy Director General, Dr Grandville Whittle, says
Visit www.domestos.co.za for more on the campaign and its events.