water sanitation &
Woodland has partnered UNICEF since 2011 to raise resources for improving access to basic sanitation, drinking water and hygiene for school going children in India. The partnership contributes to UNICEF program on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for over 115 million school going children in India and to Government’s Swachh Vidyalaya, under the Swachh Bharat national government’s campaign driving ‘Clean India: Clean Schools’. It ensure that every school in India has a set of functioning and well maintained water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. The partnership complements the national priorities set out in the mission and contributes to achieving the national goals.
Over past five years Woodland – UNICEF partnership has benefitted approximately 682,000 boys and girls in over 6200 schools, providing them with improved access to quality water and safe sanitation, improved hand washing infrastructure and ensuring regular hand washing practices by all children before daily mid-day meals. The funds for UNICEF program on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are flexible, which allows them to be used in states which require most support. The strategic approach of partnership is to demonstrate evidence based pilots of multiple hand washing stations that can be scaled up by the government and to promote effective approaches to school sanitation, ensuring access to safe drinking water, child-friendly gender-sensitive sanitation facilities and a healthy, safe learning environment. The enrolment and retention of children in schools, particularly girls, is increased through appropriate WASH-in-School facilities and Hygiene Education programme.
In India, lack of proper sanitation and water facilities as well as inadequate hygiene and health behaviour result in a huge burden of avoidable diseases. Deprived communities and particularly children in these communities are disproportionally affected. Diseases such as diarrhoea, intestinal worms and respiratory infections are widespread and can result in school absenteeism, increased drop-out rates and impact on children’s physical and cognitive development as well as education attainments.
Lack of appropriate, well maintained and adequate child-friendly, gender-segregated and private toilet and handwashing washing facilities and practices in schools is also likely to have an impact on their school performance and attendance. By demonstrating a package of WASH in Schools interventions, including institutionalized practice of handwashing with soap before mid-day meals the partnership supports UNICEF contextualize, adapt, define and test approaches, to take the model to scale.
Woodland customers whole heartedly have supported the partnership through the Customer Fundraising campaign that runs across all stores four months every year to collect Rs. 10 or more from customers at the time of billing. All donations are used to support the Water Sanitation and Hygiene programmes for UNICEF in India only.