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'Toilets change lives' program on track to improve one million lives by year end
Last Monday, on World Toilet Day 2018, Kimberly-Clark renewed its commitment to its multi-national global sanitation program, 'Toilets Change Lives' which launched in 2014 with the aim of improving the lives of nearly one million people in need. The company says it should meet this aim by the end of the year.
'Toilets Change Lives' has actively pursued community-focused sanitation programs around the world through its products, partners and people, by leveraging the power of its well-known brands to bring greater awareness to the global sanitation crisis.
"The health, safety and dignity toilets can bring to a community is a worthy endeavor of our time and resources, and that's why we celebrate World Toilet Day," says Rishi Dhingra, vice president for Kimberly-Clark, and board member of the Toilet Board Coalition. "We want to thank our consumers, partners and employees around the world for engaging in this important issue. Their commitment to impacting the world through sanitation is saving lives and transforming communities
In 2018, Toilets Change Lives is providing funding in Bangledesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru, Honduras, Guatemala and South Africa to bring sanitation services, access to clean drinking water, and hygiene education in partnership with its customers and NGOs, including Water For People, WaterAid and Unicef.
Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water For People, says of the initiative: "We're grateful for partners who share our belief that toilets change people's lives. Kimberly-Clark has been an integral partner in reaching 'Everyone Forever' with safe sanitation services and better toilets, and its support has helped thousands of families across Latin America build bathrooms that improve health and give dignity."
Kimberly-Clark piloted a new partnership through its Kotex brand with Plan International USA to bring safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to schools across Bolivia to fight sanitation-based disease and decrease the likelihood of girls missing or dropping out of school due lack of proper sanitation during their periods.
Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International USA, explains: "Our partnership with Kimberly-Clark's Kotex brand has helped us provide access and education to hundreds of students in Bolivia. We are educating girls and communities on menstrual hygiene and are contributing to the elimination of harmful taboos and stigma that keep girls from school. Together, we are making a life-changing difference for these children."
In addition to brand-led commercial programs and non-profit partnerships, Kimberly-Clark also co-founded the Toilet Board Coalition, a group of leading companies, government agencies, sanitation experts and non-profit organisations, which aims to develop commercially sustainable and scalable solutions to the sanitation crisis. Over the past year, the Coalition's Accelerator program for sanitation entrepreneurs serving low income markets nurtured innovative solutions like the Toilet Integration Bus that recycles aging transportation buses into portable public women's sanitation centres.
Says Rishi Dhingra: "At Kimberly-Clark, we believe hygiene isn't a privilege, it's something everyone deserves. When we see the impact these programs are making on the ground, it solidifies our commitment to increase awareness and access to sanitation."
The United Nations General Assembly officially designated World Toilet Day in 2013 to raise awareness and inspire efforts to tackle the global sanitation crisis. A lack of basic sanitation affects an estimated 2.3 billion people around the world, making 'access to water and sanitation for all' an important platform for the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
22nd November 2018