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As we celebrate Global Handwashing Day this year with millions of people across the globe, we’re thrilled to share the news that Lifebuoy has improved the handwashing behaviours of 1 billion people.

That was originally our target for 2020, so we’re delighted to have achieved it a year ahead of time.

What started as a simple handwashing programme in three countries a decade ago has evolved into a fully-fledged mission to prevent illnesses globally.

We’re currently working with more than 20 partners in 30 countries to encourage the most vulnerable in our society to adopt good handwashing habits.

Our school programme makes handwashing with soap fun and rewarding. It spreads hygiene messages in an engaging way to schoolchildren and their parents.

Our programme for mothers gives them the knowledge and information to help ensure that their children fall ill a little less often.

We partner with world leaders, governments, NGOs, charities and celebrities to advocate for the cause of handwashing and turn the Sustainable Development Goal related to hygiene – SDG 6 – into practice at a global, regional and local level.

This year, for the first time, we’re also enlisting the help of influencers to amplify the message further. These include cricket star Shakib Al Hasan in Bangladesh, popular actors Titi and Tian in Indonesia, and Help A Child Reach 5 ambassador Kajol Devgan in India.

We have achieved the milestone of reaching 1 billion people ahead of schedule, but we’re not stopping there. In fact, we already have our sights set firmly on the next billion.

“Lifebuoy has become a world-class brand that’s known for turning our expertise on behaviour change into teaching children and mothers to wash their hands with soap and create lifelong, life-saving habits,” explains Lifebuoy’s Global Brand VP Kartik Chandrasekhar.

“Changing habits is difficult, as any of us who have tried to start exercising or a new diet would know. That’s where a brand like Lifebuoy – the world’s biggest health soap, and part of Unilever, whose products are used by two billion people around the world on any given day – can really help.”


Changing habits is difficult, as any of us who have tried to start exercising or a new diet would know. That’s where a brand like Lifebuoy can really help.

Kartik Chandrasekhar

Saving lives is at the heart of our heritage

In 1894, during the Industrial Revolution, Unilever founder William Lever created Lifebuoy to combat the rampant disease and infections that ran rife in UK factory towns during a period of rapid urbanisation.

In 1894, during the Industrial Revolution, Unilever founder William Lever created Lifebuoy to combat the rampant disease and infections that ran rife in UK factory towns during a period of rapid urbanisation.

It was Lever’s horror at the high infant mortality rates and the experience of being surrounded by the squalid, unsanitary conditions of 19th-century Britain that made him determined to find the perfect germ-fighting formula and maintain a low price so that his soap was available to everyone.

What he did in the process was not only create one of the world’s first consumer brands but also an agent of social change.

That heritage of saving lives and helping to drive social change has remained at the heart of Lifebuoy’s purpose to this day.

We must do more… and here’s how you can help

Globally, over 1.2 million children under the age of five die from preventable diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea each year. To put that another way, every 30 seconds a child is deprived of their future. Yet, this could be prevented through the simple act of handwashing with soap.

As a brand that exists to save lives and prevent illnesses, we can and must do more. This Global Handwashing Day, we invite you to join our quest to reach the next billion people with hygiene messages.

Give back to your local community by volunteering your time to teach children healthy handwashing habits; this keeps preventable diseases at bay and helps children to thrive and realise their potential.

Campaign poster. Through our Lifebuoy soap brand, we have helped 1 billion people around the world improve their handwashing habits.
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