Johnson & Johnson Limited, India and UNICEF have entered into a partnership to raise funds to promote health and hygiene practices amongst adolescent girls in India, benefitting more than five lakh girls over the next three years.
An MoU was signed by Mr Swami Raote, Managing Director, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Division India, and Ms. Karin Hulshof, Representative, UNICEF India in New Delhi today in the presence of Ms. Grace Castano, Company Group Chairman, Asia Pacific, Johnson & Johnson Group of Consumer Companies.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Castano said, "In India, many girls miss school, and gradually drop out as they enter adolescence, primarily due to lack of knowledge and access to amenities to ensure proper health and hygiene. Similarly, many women suffer from infections due to lack of proper menstrual hygiene, resulting in poor health, adding to their healthcare burden and resulting in loss of wages as they have to remain absent from work."
"We believe it's time to change this. The Stayfree Women for Change movement is our endeavor for a healthy, hygienic life which we believe is the right of every girl and woman."
UNICEF and Johnson & Johnson Limited, India, supported by its Stayfree Women for Change Movement, will launch a Cause Related Marketing (CRM) campaign. From every Stayfree sanitary napkin sold, a part of the proceeds will go to UNICEF for a period of six months starting April 2012. This will support a pilot program, focusing on creating awareness and empowering adolescent girls for personal hygiene, in Bihar - Vaishali and Nalanda and in Jharkhand - East Singhbhum and Gumla.
In addition to raising the awareness of the general public, the program will also focus on development of knowledge and skills of teachers, Self Help Group members, Anganwadi workers, Asha didis and other stakeholders who play a critical role in shaping the lives of adolescent girls.
"We are thrilled about the vast potential of this partnership as it can turn around lives of adolescent girls. Imagine the 115 million* adolescent girls in India who can break the entrenched cycles of poverty inequity and deprivation. They need our special attention and support to be able to do so," said Ms. Hulshof during the launch ceremony.
In India, adolescents - young people between the age of 10 and 19 account for nearly one quarter of the total population**. As they stand at these crossroads, so do societies at large - the crossroads between losing out on the potential of a generation or nurturing them to transform society. As adolescent girls flourish, so do their communities, and all of us have a collective responsibility in ensuring that adolescence does in fact become an age of opportunity.
** State Of The World's Children 2011
Caroline den Dulk,Chief, Advocacy & Partnerships, +91 9818106093, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Anil Nayak, Director - Corporate Communications, Johnson & Johnson Ltd, +91 9920752134, email@example.com