“How would you feel if you didn’t have a toilet in our home?” I asked my boy.
“Upset…where would I go poop?” His answer was honest and direct.
“Yes, and did you know a lot of other kids don’t have a proper toilet in their home? Some don’t even have a home.”
His mind is ticking over; I can clearly see it from his face. He’s thinking.
Then we proceed to watch the video from Youtube about what it’s like to live without proper sanitation.
“Why are they carrying a bucket out?”, “Why don’t they build a toilet?” He bombarded me with so many questions that I must answer carefully.
“If they don’t even have a proper toilet then how can they be healthy?” I asked him and again his little mind is trying to grasp that concept of reality of life for so many other children in the world.
“Let’s do something, Mommy. How can we help?”
Yes, a genuine question that hit it right in the spot.
Here are some of the facts about sanitation in Indonesia and worldwide combined:
- In Indonesia alone more than 40 million people still lack access to clean water supply.
- With only 2% access to sewerage in urban areas, Indonesia is one of the lowest in the world among middle-income countries.
- Indonesia ranks number two on the WHO list of countries that account for almost three-quarters of the people who practice open defecation with a staggering number of 63 million.
- Unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene result in countless deaths and a huge burden of disease among young children – almost all of it preventable.
- More than four billion cases of diarrhea cause 2.2 million deaths—mostly of children under the age of five. As immune systems are progressively compromised with each bout of diarrhea, related illnesses indirectly kill millions more each year.
- Ending open defecation is not just about building toilets and latrines. Poor sanitation has a direct impact on health, nutrition, education, gender equality and poverty reduction.. 
Take a look at this infographic from World Bank:
UNILEVER PROJECT SUNLIGHT
Unilever Indonesia introduces their campaign on November 15, 2014 and I was inspired by their program. With a tag line of “Unilever Project Sunlight, Dukung Masa Depan Sehat” (Unilever Project Sunlight, Supporting Healthy Future) as a mother, I feel called for to help in any way possible.
After attending the blogger launching for Unilever Project Sunlight on November 15, 2014 at Mommies Daily Head Office, it has given me an opportunity to have the above discussion with my son. We talked about how important basic sanitation really is.
So what is Unilever Project Sunlight really about?
Watch this short video to learn more:
For my English speaking readers, here’s the link to the English version of the video.
We believe there has never been a better time to create a better future for our children; a world where everyone has enough food to eat and no child goes to bed hungry.
Where every child lives to their fifth birthday and has the right to a happy childhood.
Where every home has enough water to drink and to wash, cook and clean.
And where everybody can enjoy life today while protecting the planet for future generations.
Project Sunlight is a movement that has already started.
It’s made up of a growing community of people who believe it is possible to build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably.
Who recognise we can only achieve this if we all work together to do small actions every day that make a real difference.
And who inspire others to join us in making this the way everyone chooses to live.
Taken from Project Sunlight About Page.
Unilever is sponsoring an inspiring young Indonesian girl named Dira Noveriani who at the age of 17 is currently chosen as a representative of Indonesian children to reach for a brighter future. She has seen how poor sanitation is affecting the children in Indonesia and she said: “For me, ignorance or apathy is our biggest challenge at the moment, that’s why we need to change that apathy and start making real changes with real actions. My concern for the importance of sanitation in Indonesia is the reasons why I joined Project Sunlight and voicing my ideas.”
Unilever will build and hold educational programs for sanitation in Sumba, NTT in Indonesia. Why Sumba? Because it is one of the many remote parts of Indonesia with very limited resources for clean water and proper sanitation. They are lacking clean water nearly all year long. Lack of clean drinking water, sanitation, and health facilities mean that child malnutrition (32%) and child mortality (71 per 1000) are higher than in most of the rest of Indonesia.
Please like the Unilever Facebook Page to get instant updates from their Project Sunlight campaign.
What Can We Do To Help?
As mothers, we are raising the children to be the agent of changes for the world that we may not live to see. Our children will be the driving force to either continue to destroy the earth or do things to preserve it.
Simple ways we can participate right now:
- Watch this short inspirational video. For every click Unilever will donate IDR 100 per view. So watch and share it on your social media!
- Submit your ideas for #brighfuture on the Project Sunlight website.
- Become a #brightfuture volunteer and educate local schools about the importance of maintaining good hygiene and sanitation.
- Download the Educational Guide from Project Sunlight subjects included such as proper ways of brushing teeth, proper ways to wash hands, the importance of clean water and clean toilets.
- Buy these Unilever products in Indonesia: Pepsodent, Lifebuoy, and Domestos in all Lotte Mart for the period of November – December 2014 and Unilever will donate IDR 1,000 from each product selling price towards building sanitation in Sumba, NTT.
My son came up with these ideas to help:
Do you have any other ideas to create a #brightfuture for our children and their children’s generation? Leave a comment below or log in your ideas directly on the Project Sunlight website.