On October 13, 2017, Amref Health Africa, Unilever, UNFPA and SightSavers celebrated outstanding programme results and acknowledged the efforts of student volunteers for their participation in Heroes for Change, a social mobilisation volunteer programme that is designed to teach and empower college students to contribute to society and create a better future for all Kenyans.
Through the six-month programme, student volunteers across five universities in Kenya – Strathmore University, University of Nairobi (UoN Main and Lower Kabete campuses), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Kenyatta University – visited communities to improve health and well-being of community members.
The heroes taught school children and their parents the importance of hand and face washing with soap to prevent trachoma and diarrhoeal disease, seeking maternal and new-born healthcare during pregnancy, brushing of teeth in the morning and at night to improve oral health and eating a nutritious breakfast to start the day.
The Heroes for Change programme is based on a unique social impact model which allows socially conscious youth to take control of how they want to contribute to the world. It leverages young people as an untapped force for good and harnesses their collective energy to create the change they want to make through their individual contributions, within their own communities.
It has proven to be highly successful, yielding outstanding results and exceeding Year 1 targets. Within the six-month period, volunteers reached 180,660 children and individuals, surpassing the target of 100,000 people by 81%. The best performing programme, Pepsodent Brush Day and Night, impacted more than 47,508 people.
As Heroes for Change celebrated the graduation of its pioneer batch of heroes, plans are underway to make it bigger and more impactful in Year 2 by recruiting 500 heroes in 2018. A large-scale roll out across all Kenyan universities is in the works, with plans to make the programme fully digital and double its reach.
Global Handwashing Day Advertising Feature, Daily Nation, October 16, 2017 Page No. 20
Unilever`s vision of a world free preventive diseases, Daily Nation, October 16, 2017 Page No. 22