Maureen, 25, is part of a local women's group working to raise awareness about Covid-19 and its prevention.

Unilever and HBCC coalition

The reach of the partnership

Globally, the HBCC programme reached more than one billion people with information about hygiene practices, distribution of resources, and establishment of water sources to prevent transmission of Covid-19.   

ActionAid reached more than 28 million people through projects in Kenya and Nepal.

In both countries we focused on reaching the most marginalised women and girls by working alongside women-led organisations, youth volunteers, and local governments.  

Mai, 19, is part of ActionAid's Young Urban Women Project in Kenya

Mai, 19, is part of ActionAid's Young Urban Women Project in Kenya. Photo: Sarah Waiswa/ActionAid

Our Covid-19 response  

Across both Kenya and Nepal, ActionAid: 

  • Distributed more than 565,000 Covid-19 prevention kits and hygiene kits 
  • Supplied healthcare facilities and health workers with more than 243,000 pieces of PPE 
  • Reached more than 28 million people with awareness messaging through TV adverts, radio, posters, billboards, social media and SMS
  • Installed nearly 700 water stations and 11 permanent water sources in Kenya
  • Trained 200 youth volunteers in Nepal to support awareness-raising in local communities.

Most importantly, we embedded sustainable solutions in the communities where we worked, and will apply the same practices to support communities if and when any future waves of the coronavirus are experienced.

Next steps for the partnership

The partnership with the HBCC ended in July 2021. With coronavirus still prevalent across all countries where ActionAid works, including Kenya and Nepal, the sustainable and long-term approach we took in our response was vital and many lessons have been learned regarding how we can tackle similar pandemics or emergencies in future.

ActionAid is passionate about finding new ways to bring businesses and NGOs together to tackle large-scale problems like this.

For a conversation about how ActionAid might be able to work with your business, be that in emergency response, sustainable development or an advisory capacity, please reach out to our team at: uk.corporatepartnerships@actionaid.org.  

Wanja benefitted from a new water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facility on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Africa Youth Trust/ActionAid

Improving access to sanitation in partnership with the HBCC

In March 2021 we opened a new water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facility in City Carton, an informal settlement in Majengo on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.  

Thanks to the project, women like Wanja can now more easily access water to wash, clean and protect themselves from Covid-19.

"During this Covid period, things became challenging; we all had to manage with the little water we got," Wanja said.

"We also had just one toilet so people would have to queue for ages. Some people would use the drains as their toilet and you’d then find children playing in the waste, then getting diarrhoea and vomiting - and sometimes even dying from cholera.

Now we have enough water and more toilets so there is no more queueing; you just fetch your water then have enough time to get on with your work."

Helping communities in Nepal to stop the spread of Covid-19

Barsha, 23, is a volunteer working on the frontline of the Covid-19 response in Nepal. 

She joined the coronavirus response after attending an ActionAid Nepal women’s leadership programme shortly before the announcement of the pandemic.

Now, she teaches communities about the importance of handwashing and wearing a mask, and identifies families most in need of food, sanitary products, hand sanitiser, face masks and other ActionAid support. This is thanks to the support of the HBCC.

"Playing such a role [and] serving the community makes me feel good," she says.

I am very happy that I got an opportunity to become a volunteer. I have learned so many things and done so many things. It feels very good to lend a helping hand to others."

Barsha volunteers on the frontline of the pandemic response in Nepal.

Uma Bista/ActionAid

In Kenya, Maureen demonstrates proper handwashing to community members. Tommie Ominde/ActionAid

Page updated 3 March 2022