Save a child today – support Global Handwashing Day

Clean hands save lives.

No, I’m not just talking about deadly strains of the dreaded Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) or the pain the disease inflicts on both children and adult alike.

One of the notices I received this year from my girl’s preschool

Nor am I exaggerating the importance of washing hands.

For me, washing hands has always been a matter of hygiene and my hope to keep germs away so that my children remain healthy.

Lifebuoy handwash kills 99.9% of germs in just 10 seconds
Washing hands after a night cycling practice

I have never thought that such a simple action of handwashing can save lives, until I chanced upon this:

UNICEF estimates that diarrhoea kills 1.1 million children every year, and pneumonia-related illnesses take another 1.2 million child lives. Handwashing with soap prevents disease in a more straightforward and cost-effective way than any single vaccine. (Source: UNICEF, italics mine)

We are blessed to be in Singapore, where we have clean sanitation and we live in a clean and green environment. We are in a situation where it is difficult to even fathom that handwashing can have such a huge impact on lives, and yet there are more than 2 million children – over 80% of these deaths occur in South Asia and Africa – who do not live to celebrate their 5th birthday, many of which could be saved by a simple act of washing hands with soap.

Every year, Global Handwashing Day (GHD) – an initiative by Lifebuoy – is celebrated on 15 October in over 100 countries around the world. This is done to raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing in a bid to save children’s lives and promote a global culture of handwashing with soap.

For five consecutive years now, Unilever, through its Lifebuoy brand, has sought to bring hygiene education through school programmes to children across 10 countries in Africa (together with Millennium Villages Initiative) in the hope to save young children from potentially fatal diseases caused by poor hand hygiene.

This year’s GHD message is – Help a child reach 5, by pledging on Lifebuoy’s Facebook page.

With every pledge, Lifebuoy will commit to teach a child hygiene education through PSI, a Unilever Foundation Partner.

One at a time, we will help these children reach their 5th birthdays.

We have all heard of the starfish story:

Let us try to help make a difference to a child’s life today. The difference you can make is not just improving their lives because by pledging today, you are giving them the best gift in life – life itself.

The pledge will not cost you a single cent, but it would mean so much to a child out there. Do you have time to spare to save a child’s life today?

Let’s celebrate the 5th birthday of every child who wins this fight.


Click HERE to take the pledge.

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