Unilever and Plan International to uplift Padaviya health and hygiene

July, 9, 2017

Unilever Sri Lanka and Plan International partnered in a 1 year project aimed to wash away the poor hygiene issues in the Padaviya division, by ensuring school children inculcate the lifesaving habit of washing hands with soap. World Health Organization states’ Handwashing with soap at key points is the simplest and most effective way to save lives’. In 2008, the Global handwashing day was announced, which Unilever through its flagship brand Lifebuoy has celebrated every year since the commencement. In 2017 in a strategic step in during the habit of handwashing in a sustainable manner, Unilever is partnering with Plan International to drive the habit in selected schools in Padviya divisional secretariat.

“Creating a healthy and child friendly learning environment for children at early ages is critical for their better growth. Hygienic habits that children learn in their formative years help them practice this behavior in their families and pass on the knowledge to society.  When children are equipped with the right skills, they are the best change agents.” said, Mrs. Sian Platt, Plan International Sri Lanka, Acting Country Director.  “Our water, sanitation and hygiene programme is both school and community-led, which aligns with our child-centred community development approach.  We work to ensure children and community members have a voice and choice in the decisions that affect their lives, and that enable them to act as agents of change. We work closely with children in schools, preschools with their families and communities. This includes the provision of inclusive, age appropriate and child friendly water and sanitation services for schools and preschools. Furthermore, teaching appropriate skills and practices to promote good hygiene practices among school children is considered an essential part of our water, sanitation and hygiene promotion programmes, which is why we are pleased to partner with Unilever in supporting the school children of Padaviya”, Mrs. Platt added.

Identifying the need for improved health in the region for a better tomorrow, Unilever Sri Lanka and Plan International worked together in the planning and implementing of the joint project to advocate for better hygiene through sustainable handwashing practices.

“Living true to Unilever’s vision of making Sustainable Living Common place or simply put ‘Doing well by Doing good’, we remain committed to the health and wellbeing of the people of Sri Lanka and we strongly believe that the way to ensure this is through better hygiene practices. This could be through something as simple and cost effective as creating a habit of washing your hands with germ protection soap and clean water. Over the years Unilever has been instrumental in building this habit in Sri Lanka and we have seen the vast difference it makes to communities,” said Sharmila Bandara Marketing Director Personal Care Unilever Sri Lanka.

Through the endeavor, 11 schools in Padaviya will receive a facility for handwashing , children between the ages of 5-12 will be educated on the habit of handwashing, positive re-enforcements will be carried out throughout the year to ensure the habit is created and adequate soap will be provided for all schools.

About Unilever: Unilever Sri Lanka is one of the biggest FMCG companies in Sri Lanka, with 29 market leading brands in categories such as Home Care, Personal Care and Foods. Established in Sri Lanka in 1938 with brands such as Sunlight, Lux and Pears Rose. Unilever’s corporate purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace, and the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to decouple the company’s growth from environmental impact, while increasing its positive social impact. The Plan has three big goals that by 2020 will help improve people’s health and well-being, reduce the company’s environmental footprint, and enhance livelihoods across its value chain. For more information about Unilever, please visit

Plan International: Plan International is an independent global child rights organization operating for over 75 years, working in 70 developing countries, advancing children’s rights and equality for girls. By actively connecting committed people with powerful ideas, we work together to make positive, deep-rooted and lasting changes in children and young people’s lives. Plan International started working in Sri Lanka in 1981 at the invitation of the government. We currently work through Programme offices in Anuradhapura and Monaragala, across 5 districts. We focus on ensuring that children and young people who are most marginalised receive the education and protection they have a right to, and they are not excluded from services or decision-making. We do this by working in partnership with communities, local and national government, civil society organisations, Children, young people and their families and communities. We work to promote children’s health, quality education, protection, and social and economic empowerment of youth and disaster risk management.  Plan International is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.