Creating a brighter future
Unilever Foundation Global Ambassador Osita Abana travelled to Bangladesh with Save the Children to see how Unilever is supporting programmes that are significantly improving the health and wellbeing of children in some of the country’s poorest communities.
Osita, who works in communications at Unilever Nigeria, spent a week finding out the two Save the Children projects that Unilever support tackling chronic malnutrition and enhancing livelihoods as well as meeting the people who are benefitting directly from the ongoing work.
What are the issues facing children in Bangladesh?
Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. From the estimated population of over 160 million people, 61 million are children. Most families live on less than $1.25 a day and access to basic services such as healthcare is very limited. Chronic malnutrition affects 41% of all children in Bangladesh and is one of the key underlying reasons that 1 in 19 children in the country do not make it to their fifth birthday.
What is Unilever doing to support Save the Children’s work in Bangladesh?
In Bangladesh, we support Save the Children in five different regions across the country. Save the Children is working with local communities and the Government of Bangladesh to ensure that children and their families have access to nutritious food and the essential health care they need. Through our partnership we are facilitating the scale up of the Government’s National Nutritional Service by equipping clinics and training health workers. At a community level, Save the Children working directly with families to improve their access to nutritious food and increase their livelihood opportunities.
Tell us about the projects you saw on your trip
I have been struck by the impact of our partnership with Save the Children and the difference we can make. In Satkania (South East Bangladesh), I visited health facilities to meet with health workers and mothers benefitting from the ‘Tackling Childhood Malnutrition’ project. It was inspiring to see how life-changing interventions are helping to tackle childhood malnutrition and how simple solutions such as helping mothers to breastfeed correctly can have a positive impact. The second project which I visited in Mollarhat ( South West Bangladesh) aims to reduce chronic malnutrition. Mothers are taught how to set up vegetable gardens in their homesteads, not only to grow vegetables for their family but also to sell the surplus, to provide a new source of income and help improve their livelihoods
Do you want to read more inspiring stories from the Foundation Ambassadors?
Read about Aytek Koyun who works in R&D at Unilever and he is this year’s Unilever Foundation Ambassador for the UNICEF partnership.
You can also sign-up or follow us on Facebook to stay tuned on the initiatives Unilever brightFuture supports.