Girl Guide Superhero at heart of new campaign to teach over 4 million kids to handwash with soap

14 October 2016
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To mark Global Handwashing Day, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and Lifebuoy partner to show handwashing saves lives

Girl Guide Sparkle Lifebuoy/WAGGGS

Comic book superheroes known as the School of 5 are at the centre of a new initiative promoting the importance of handwashing, being launched by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and Lifebuoy, Unilever’s leading health soap brand.

In partnership with Lifebuoy, WAGGGS have developed a set of learning materials to help children and young people better understand the benefits of handwashing.

The materials, which will be shared in school-based groups as well as Girl Guide and Girl Scout groups through a four-week programme in Maharashtra, India, will feature the School of 5 superheroes with Girl Guide Sparkle who will save the world through handwashing with soap.

The materials will take the form of a comic book and will reveal how handwashing with soap is an easy, effective and affordable intervention that prevents infections and saves lives. The initiative will be rolled out in the state of Maharashtra, India, throughout 2017.

Anita Tiessen, CEO of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, says:

“We are delighted to team up with Lifebuoy on this exciting new initiative. Handwashing is one of the simplest ways to save lives and it is important girls and boys across the world understand why. By combining Lifebuoy’s knowledge on global healthcare with our world-class non-formal education programmes, we will ensure girls can lead happy, healthy lives and reach their full potential.”

Kartik Chandrasekhar, Global Brand VP Lifebuoy, says:

“We are extremely excited to be announcing our partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts on Global Handwashing Day. This partnership empowers girls and young women to take action, making handwashing with soap an everyday habit. Our Global Handwashing Day campaign this year is ‘High 5 for handwashing’ – an action that breaks through cultural, geographical and language barriers, supporting local communities together with partners like WAGGGS.”

Every year, 1.4 million children do not live to celebrate their fifth birthday because of diarrhoea and pneumonia. Across the world, many diseases and health conditions are spread by people using dirty water to wash hands, rather than soap and clean, running water. Handwashing with soap is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent these diseases.

A clinical trial led by Lifebuoy, involving 2,000 families in Mumbai, demonstrated a 25% reduction in the number of incidences of diarrhoea among children aged five and a 19% reduction in acute respiratory infection. Better health is clearly linked to improved school attendance and education.

For more information, please contact:

Angela Singh, Communications Manager, Media

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

Phone: +44 20 7433 6460 // Email:

Lauren Wyper, Account Director

salt Communications, Singapore

Phone: +65 9729 0423 // Email:

About World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is the largest voluntary Movement dedicated to girls and young women in the world. Our diverse Movement represents ten million girls and young women from 146 countries. For more than 100 years Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting has transformed the lives of girls and young women worldwide, supporting and empowering them to achieve their fullest potential and become responsible citizens of the world.

About Lifebuoy

As the world’s leading health soap, Lifebuoy aims to make a difference by creating accessible hygiene products (soap) and promoting healthy hygiene habits.  With this in mind, Lifebuoy aims to change the handwashing behaviour of one billion people by 2020. Since 2010 Lifebuoy has changed the handwashing behaviours of 337 million people across 28 countries.

For more information, please visit

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