Following the 2015 Nepal earthquake, MMH was rolled out in five of the most affected wards in the country. It led to an increase of 18% in handwashing with soap before eating; 17% before cooking; and 45% after using the toilet – proof of the resounding success of the programme.
Following this success, Aarti has created a repeatable model for MMH, enabling the programme to be deployed in over eight emergencies so far. She has worked with Oxfam to create an online toolkit, which is open-access and can be used by any humanitarian organisation wishing to deploy MMH.
Most recently, Lifebuoy has been active among the Rohingya refugees living in camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. In partnership with the NGO Friendship, Lifebuoy has taught 20,000 refugees about healthy hygiene habits. Aarti herself has visited the Rohingya refugee camps.
“This community has lived through atrocities and exile. I’m inspired by the fact that we can help alleviate some of their problems. MMH has encouraged mothers to break free from their often isolated and lonely routines, to work together towards a healthier life for themselves and their families,” she says.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved as a brand in the space of emergencies. In a world that’s fragmented, it’s important to find your purpose and drive it with all your heart. In Lifebuoy we’re on a very powerful journey to build purpose into everything we do, and I’m extremely grateful to be a part of this journey. What we’ve done so far is truly amazing, but it’s just the beginning.”