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Chris Mallaband

Saving Millions

Through The Power of Hand Washing

Chris Mallaband is a Unilever Foundation Ambassador that works with Lifebuoy and PSI to promote the habit of hand washing to schoolchildren around the world. They hope to bring this message to the rest of the world as it could save thousands of lives.

In the United Kingdom, we’re taught by our parents to wash our hands every time we go the toilet, before eating, after blowing our nose, and many other messy situations where our hands get dirty. However, in some parts of the world this isn’t the norm.

In Kenya only 28% of schoolchildren said they washed their hands after using the toilet and only one percent said they washed using soap. This has unfortunately lead to not only stomach bugs but life-threatening diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia. Experts say that if hand washing with soap was a standard practice in affected regions like Kenya, we could save thousands of children every single day.

Unilever Foundation Ambassador Chris Mallaband went to Kenya to find out how the School of Five initiative was making a difference in the developing world. During his time in Kenya, Chris found that the education of germs and proper sanitation was brought to life through games, puzzles, and comics. “Children had not only adopted the programme but in some way made it their own.” The children were having a lot of fun! They even came up with songs to remind themselves and their friends and family when to wash their hands.

Lifebuoy hopes to reach one billion people by 2015. It is Chris’s hope that kids from schools all over the world will also share this message of hand washing to their classmates. By empowering children to share the importance of hand washing we can set future generations on a brighter path because, “The changes children make can be changes for life.”

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