Public – Private Partnership for Handwashing supports one million children with COVID-19 Safe School Kits

Ahead of Global Handwashing Day, the Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap (PPP-HWWS) supports the Government to safely reopen schools

12 October 2021
Vero washes her hands before entering class
Vero, 5, washes her hands before entering class at Angkasa 1 Kindergarten in East Jakarta, Indonesia, on 15 September 2021. This was Vero’s first month back at school after almost a year and a half of learning from home.

JAKARTA, 12 October 2021 – Ahead of Global Handwashing Day on 15 October, 15,000 educational institutions are receiving COVID-19 Safe School Kits from the PPP-HWWS. Partnership members have pooled resources to complement the Government’s efforts to safely reopen schools, especially to those most in need.

Under the initiative, each school will receive essential hygiene and infection, prevention, and control (IPC) supplies such as soap and handwashing liquid, hand sanitizers and disinfectant solution to cover the hygiene supply needs of one million students across the country for at least one month. The institutions, which include primary and secondary schools as well as madrasahs, cover the provinces of Aceh, Banten, Central Java, East Java, East Nusa Tenggara, North Sumatra,  Papua, South Sulawesi, West Java and West Nusa Tenggara.

“The Ministry of Religion highly appreciates partners who have provided assistance to madrasahs to prepare for face-to-face learning. A safe learning environment is the responsibility of the Government and all partners. The COVID Safe School Kits help ensure that the safety and health of children is the top priority as they return to class," said Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ali Ramdhani, Director General, Islamic Education, Ministry of Religious Affairs

Access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools is an essential part of a safe, clean and healthy school environment. As such, the Government has mandated that a minimum condition for re-opening schools is the availability of basic WASH facilities. Yet an analysis from 2020 shows that 84 per cent of schools, or 44 million children, were missing at least one of these crucial elements.

The same analysis showed that around 20 per cent of schools lack access to clean and safe drinking water, 27 per cent do not have access to safe toilets and almost 60 per cent lack access to functional handwashing stations with water and soap. Similarly, only 27 per cent of madrasahs have access to basic WASH facilities, with only 56 per cent having access to at least one handwashing facility on the premises.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, schools have been proactive in improving hygiene conditions. Many have used the school operation funds to ensure that basic handwashing facilities are in place and hygiene supplies such as soaps, hand sanitizers and tissues are available. However, there is still more to be done to support the improvement of WASH facilities in schools, and by engaging more stakeholders concerted efforts to support WASH improvements in schools and here private sector can play a very important role.

“With more children heading back to classrooms, schools must have the means to operate safely and prevent COVID-19 transmission. This starts with ensuring that students and teachers have a place to wash their hands with soap,” said UNICEF Representative Debora Comini. “The COVID Safe School Initiative is an excellent example of private sector involvement, which shows how we can work together to make hand hygiene a reality for all.”

Under this initiative, 10,000 schools and madrasahs will receive donations from UNILEVER Indonesia containing hand washing liquid and hand sanitizer for a month along with education materials on health and hygiene ; and 5,000 schools and madrasahs will receive donations from Wings Group Indonesia containing soap bars, hand sanitizer and disinfectant solution covering two months. PT Cussons will additionally support a number of schools with essential hygiene supplies.

UNICEF worked closely with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Religious Affairs at national and provincial level to identify the schools and madrasahs most in need of this support. Together with the German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ), UNICEF will support the distribution of the kits to schools and madrasahs in coordination with provincial and district education and religious affairs authorities.

Quotes from partners

“Aligned with the spirit of #MariBerbagiPeran, Unilever Indonesia continues to play a role in supporting the efforts of the Indonesian government to overcome the pandemic. For more than 86 years, Unilever’s handwashing products have been part of the Indonesian families to protect them from germs. Through this donation, we want to help reinforce school's safety and hygiene so that children can return to school with more protected health and play worry-free. We believe that the collaboration of all parties is pivotal to overcome the COVID-19 crisis together.” Maulani Affandi, Head of Skin Cleansing and Baby, Unilever Indonesia

"Through this partnership, Wings Group Indonesia strives to realize a commitment to care for the future generations of our country. It is our hope that the students can better enhance their education through face-to-face learning methods in a safe environment. Moreover, our support is a concrete step to contribute to advancing a clean and healthy lifestyle, avoiding various diseases so they can strive to achieve their goals." Gabriella da Silva, Public Relations Head PT Sayap Mas Utama (Wings Group Indonesia)

Media contacts

Kinanti Pinta Karana
Communications Specialist
UNICEF Indonesia
Tel: +62 8158805842


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About the Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap (PPP-HWWS)

The partnership, which involves public and private sector, government, development and civil society actors, was formed in 2020 to foster collaborative partnerships among public and private sector actors to improve access to HWWS facilities and promote handwashing behaviour change across all key settings such as communities, schools, health care facilities and public places.

The PPP-HWWS launched a National Call to Action for Hand Hygiene for All on Global Handwashing Day 2020, with endorsement from ten Indonesian Ministers, signaling an unprecedented political commitment from the Government. The Call to Action is now in the process of being translated into an actionable roadmap for inter-sectoral and multi-stakeholder engagement and ownership to make rapid progress on hand hygiene.

The members of the PPP-HWWS are:

Ministry of Health, UNICEF, Unilever Indonesia, Wings Group Indonesia, PT Cussons, Reckitt Benckiser, Adaro, Astra International, Johnson & Johnson, Trakindo, USAID, National Board of Zakat ( BAZNAS), DAAI TV Network, Lions Club, GIZ, SNV, Save the Children and Mercy Corps.