Unilever Foundation Ambassadors visit China with Save the Children
In 2012, the Unilever Foundation (‘the Foundation’) launched the Unilever Foundation Challenge, a companywide initiative designed to build employees’ awareness of and engagement with the Foundation and its global partners.
Journey to China
Two Unilever employees - Dana Buchanan, a senior brand manager from Australia, and Carlos Castillo Cano, from Customer Development in Spain – were selected to become Unilever Foundation Global Ambassadors and to visit Save the Children projects in China.
China is one of five countries where Unilever is supporting Save the Children’s biggest ever global campaign EVERY ONE. As a lead global partner of EVERY ONE, Unilever is working with Save the Children to stop the needless deaths of millions of children and their mothers.
Watch this video about Dana and Carlos’s visit to China and the impact our partnership is having.
Bridging the gap
Over the past 30 years, China has experienced an average 10% annual growth. In spite of this, large social disparities remain. Our partnership is helping to bridge the gap and aims to equip 30,000 caregivers to help children grow up healthily, benefitting 20,000 children directly and 200,000 people indirectly.
Carlos and Dana travelled to Shanghai and Sichuan to see firsthand how the projects work.
The first stop in the outskirts of Shanghai was Sumin village. Here the pair met mothers at a migrant community health centre, where they attend workshops which give vital advice about healthcare during pregnancy, newborn care and the prevention of childhood diseases.
“The project we saw was very impressive, seeing doctors who are already retired but are giving their time to help new mothers and give their children the best possible life,” says Carlos.
Next the Ambassadors visited a kindergarten and had the opportunity to meet members of the community in their homes.
“Meeting the mothers and children and seeing how these families live really helped me to understand the challenges that vulnerable migrant communities face,” Dana reflected.
Building a sustainable future
From Shanghai, Dana and Carlos travelled to Hongya County, Sichuan province, where they visited two projects which are being implemented by Save the Children and a local partner, the China Development and Research Foundation.
First they saw the Village Early Education Centre Programme, which trains volunteer teachers to increase their capacity to develop children’s social skills. Then, in the remote Taoyuan village, the Ambassadors saw a project that is helping to improve the education and nutrition of children.
Carlos says: “To see the work we’re doing in the field firsthand to help the people who are in greatest need is a very interesting experience.”
The visit had a big impact on the Ambassadors, who have come back inspired to help bring the partnership to life for colleagues and encourage other employees to support the Foundation’s commitment to Save the Children’s EVERY ONE campaign.