17th September 2015

Concern Universal and our hygiene partner Carex Soap launches the biggest celebration of Global Handwashing Day the world has ever seen! Over the next month, we aim to reach 1 million school children in Nigeria, thousands more in the UK, and millions of people around the world with fun and creative activities to promote effective handwashing.
Global Handwashing Day is a worldwide celebration involving over 200 million people coming together on 15th October each year to promote a simple and life-saving message—handwashing with soap saves lives. Hygiene related diseases such as diarrhoea cause 1 in 5 Nigerian children to die each year, but nearly half of these deaths could be prevented simply by washing hands with soap.

At events across Nigeria and the UK, children will be empowered as ‘Hygiene Heroes’ – handwashing promoters in their schools, families and communities – and will also compete to show that they have the ‘CareX Factor’! This talent competition enables children to get creative about hand washing by performing their own version of our exclusive campaign anthem – Sunny Neji’s ’Wash Your Hands O!’.

2face performing
2face performing

Following the success of last year’s campaign, which featured two of Nigeria’s top performers – Sunny Neji and 2face Idibia – and most progressive brands – Carex Soap and Etisalat – Concern Universal is holding an even bigger campaign for this year’s celebrations that aims to involve more people than any other in the Day’s history to help stop the spread of preventable diseases. This year, we are delighted that Sunny Neji will again be our Campaign Ambassador and that Carex – the UK’s most popular soap brand – has increased its support, enabling us to reach thousands more school children in Nigeria, include hundreds of UK school children, and feature more special guests and opportunities for supporters around the world to join in.

Sunny Neji performing Wash Your Hands O
Sunny Neji performing Wash Your Hands

Over the next month, more than 2,000 children from 150 schools will take part in events across South-Eastern Nigeria. Children representing each school will take part in handwashing games and demonstrations that will empower them to return to their schools and communities and spread the campaigns vital message. Schools will also compete to show that they have the ‘CareX Factor’! The winners of each event, as judged by a panel of local leaders, will compete against other regional winners at the grand finale event on Global Handwashing Day itself for fantastic prizes and the chance to perform with Sunny Neji and his band. The events kick-off in Makurdi, Benue State, followed by events in Agatu, Logo and Gwer East (also in Benue State), and then in Bekwarra, Obanliku and Abi in Cross River State. The campaign will culminate in a grand finale celebration in Calabar on Global Handwashing Day itself, 15th October.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED
For one whole month Concern Universal and Carex Soap are asking you to join us in making a song and dance about handwashing! We want you – schools, companies, social groups and individuals – to come up with your own song and dance interpretation of Sunny Neji’s ‘Wash your hands O’, record it and post it to our Facebook page to help spread the campaign’s message, showcase your talents and also stand a chance to win fantastic prizes! You can see what others have done already to get ideas, post your own video and challenge your friends to do the same, and also vote for your favourites and share them with your friends.

Sunny Neji & 2face’s exclusive campaign songs and videos will be aired on television and radio, and can be viewed at Concern Universal’s YouTube channel:

www.youtube.com/channel/UCkfOo_sqbk5YnBdy9ShIZkw

Latest campaign updates can be found at the Concern Universal Nigeria’s Facebook page where ‘Hygiene Heroes’ from around the world are already submitting their own videos with the hashtags #WashYourHandsO & #Global HandwashingDay: www.facebook.com/Concern-Universal-NIGERIA-518473178213493/timeline/

Concern Universal is co-ordinating this campaign as part of a wider five-year initiative we are implementing, Rural Sanitation & Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN), which aims to empower 2.2 million people living in rural communities in the country’s South-East to sustainably improve their sanitation and hygiene practices. Although funded by the UN’s Global Sanitation Fund, unlike most donor projects, the Government of Nigeria is the driving force behind the initiative and has committed to matching the UN’s funds to reach twice as many people. Information about the Global Sanitation Fund is available at: www.wsscc.org/global-sanitation-fund/

 

Concern Universal is an international development and relief organisation established in the UK in 1976. We operate in 9 countries in Africa, Asia and South America. We receive funding from a wide range of donors, including the European Union, United Nations and the governments of the UK, USA, Australia and Ireland. In Nigeria, Concern Universal has been implementing community development projects since 2001 in partnership with the federal, state and local governments and civil society organisations. More information is available on our website www.concern-universal.org

Carex Soap is the UK’s most popular soap brand and is now available to buy in stores across Nigeria. For many years, Carex Soap has proudly supported educational events for schools in Africa – including Ghana & Kenya – to foster a culture of handwashing with soap. This is the second year in a row that Carex is teaming up with Concern Universal to spread this handwashing culture to thousands of school children in Nigeria. More information about Carex Nigeria is available on their website, www.carex.com.ng, and campaign updates can be followed on the Carex Nigeria Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CarexNG?fref=ts

For media interviews or more information please contact:
Tim Kellow
Concern Universal
Email: tim.kellow@concern-universal.org
Nigeria Tel: +234 (0) 802 817 3255
UK Tel: +44 (0) 7956 298 144

By Dotun Roy

DotunRoy.com is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

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