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Pantene Healthy Hair for Healthy Water Launches in Indonesia and the Philippines

Siska with CSDW cup 2I’m in Western Sumatra, Indonesia to kick-off the Pantene Healthy Hair for Healthy Water campaign that is leveraging the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water to provide clean water to vulnerable communities in Asia.  We’re visiting a program conducted by World Vision to demonstrate to the local media the on-the-ground impact of the CSDW Program.

Mother & child with CSDW 2Pantene is donating financially to the CSDW program and also enlisting their ambassadors to help build awareness of the global water crisis.  Pantene’s ambassadors who have helped CSDW to date include supermodel Giselle who is helping us kick-off a CSDW program for Brazil and Asian recording artist Anggun who is helping in Indonesia.  For this trip, we’re joined by Indonesian actress and former MTV DJ, Nirina Zubir. 

Nirina with Kid 2


I met the bubbly Nirina a couple of years ago at a P&G regional event in India and it’s good to see her again.  Nirina is very familiar with this area as her father lives here.  In fact, her father was here during the earthquake.  He’s okay and survived the quake without damage although many of his neighbors lost their homes.

Buffalo and water 2I’m also traveling with my P&G colleagues from the region, Victoria Great, Bambang Sumaryanto, Nita Kartikasari, and Nari Soeprapto.  The World Vision team consists of Keith Kall from the US and the local World Vision team of Ivan Tagor, Esther Sianipar, Ikene Sere, and Emilia Sitompul.

Indonesian family 2We’ve chosen to visit Pandang, Western Sumatra because this is where World Vision responded to the September 2009 earthquake of 7.9 magnitude that killed more than 1,000 people and left a quarter million homeless.  Most of my visits are to programs that are just starting or to visit sustained programs, so this visit is different because we’re visiting almost two years after the earthquake.  It’s a good opportunity for me to learn about people’s lasting impression of the relief effort.

Rice 2


We’re in a region that gets a lot of water.  It’s humid and green and a nice break from the winter weather of the US.  Most people here are farmers.  We see a lot of cattle grazing, rice growing in the fields and men spreading rice to dry.

Rice spreading 2


Our first stop is at the local health clinic to meet with the nurses who were responsible for providing the education and training to ensure that people knew how to use the P&G water purification packets correctly.  The head nurse is Eva Trisna and she tells us that the distribution went very well.  They trained mid-wives to help them reach and train all the households that received the packets.

Siska with buckets 2I get a kick out of the uniforms of the local nurses.  They wear nicely tailored white outfits with pink scarves.  They seem to really know their stuff and clearly are respected by the community, but I can’t help but think that they look like “Barbie” nurses with their pink scarves and matching pink demonstration buckets.

Siska with motorcycle 2




The nurses reach the community by using their motorcycles.  One of the young nurses is Sisca Ratih and she tells me about her experience during the earthquake.  The quake hit about 5:15 pm on September 30.  Before then it was a normal day and she was working in the intensive care unit of the local hospital.  She and most of her colleagues were able to evacuate the four story hospital building before it collapsed but one of her dear colleagues went back into the building to try and save some people and was crushed. 

Siska 2Sisca tells me that everyone panicked as the building collapsed and fires started in the hospital.  When things started calming down, it was good to be part of the relief effort and provide the water purification packets.  They were worried about clean water for the families, particularly the young children who are so vulnerable to waterborne infections.  But Sisca says that because of having the packets, there was not an outbreak of illness following the quake.

Well water 2


We visit several homes to learn what people remember about the relief effort.  I’m a bit surprised to see that the water source for the first house is an open well.  It’s right beside the house and is very likely to be highly contaminated.  Zadir tells us that she really appreciated having the P&G water purification packets.  She says that her water became very dirty after the earthquake and she was particularly glad to have the packets. 

Focus group 1 2


People eat a lot of rice here and the custom is to eat very white rice.  Mothers will pick through the rice to take out any grains that aren’t perfectly white.  The turbid water after the quake made for very dirty rice and therefore unpalatable rice. They were glad to have clean water from the packets not only for their drinking water but to have clean, white rice. 

Well 2Another house shows us how they’ve had to build several wells following the quake because their water turned turbid and smelled.  Part of their house collapsed during the quake but they were okay since they were in the fields tending to their cows.

Indonesian girl 2






I try to learn a little Bahasa Indonesian as we have our focus groups.  “Pak” is the title given to men and “Ebu” to women.  And, it’s always polite to say thank you or “Terimakasih” went visiting homes.  Everyone is very gracious in letting us into their homes to speak with them, although we do notice that they are very shy.  There’s definitely a bit of reluctance when the local women are speaking with me versus the nurses. 

Nirina with CSDW cup 2


I lead a demonstration of the P&G water purification packets with Nirina that helps engage the local women in a conversation about the packets.  We’ve gathered the water from another open well and it was visibly contaminated before we added the packet.  Following the demonstration, it’s important to drink the clean water to show that you have confidence in the product.  I no longer give this a second thought but I’m interested to see if Nirina will drink the treated water.  Not only because it’s her first time in the field with CSDW and the untreated water was very dirty, but she’s also four months pregnant.  I’m glad to see that she doesn’t hesitate a second to drink the clean water.

Nirina with nurses 2She’s a very well known celebrity in Indonesia and very gracious to agree to have a picture with everyone who asks.  And, everyone asks.  Every household, store owner, nurse, driver, and even the ticket agents at the airport ask to have a picture with Nirina. 

Dr Lila Yanwar 2


When we debrief with the nurses and a local physician, Dr Lila Yanwar, we hear a consistent message that the packets were highly valued as part of the relief effort.  During our visits, it’s clear that people remember the packets and how to use them.  The only part of the treatment process that they need to be reminded about is the wait period of 20 minutes following the filtering through a cloth before drinking. 

Kid drinking 2



The nurses tell us that people were very receptive to learning how to use the packets following the quake.  Eva tells me that because of the trauma of the earthquake, people need and want to be told what to do to make sure they are safe.  And, so during this period, it was easy for the nurses to get people to adopt the habit of treating their water with the packets.

Indonesian kids 2



The nurses are eager to learn a little about the CSDW program and the Pantene Healthy Hair for Healthy Water campaign.  Because most women cover their hair in this Muslim part of the world, I wonder if they’d even be interested in the program.  I’m pleased to hear that they’re very interested and in fact most of them volunteer that they already are loyal users of Pantene, which is the top selling hair care brand in Indonesia. 

Kid with CSDW cup 2Dr. Lila echoes the thoughts of the nurses when she tells us that she gives credit to the P&G packets for helping prevent an outbreak of disease following the quake.  This makes the World Vision and P&G teams feel very good about our collaboration to help the earthquake victims and our plans to do much more of this in the future. 

Water collecting 2The World Vision effort in Padang provided clean drinking water to more than 11,000 households for 3 months following the quake.  Because of the support of the Pantene Healthy Hair for Healthy Water program, World Vision has been able to respond to more recent emergencies including recent floods in Donggala, Indonesia.  And, World Vision plans to start a sustained effort in areas of Indonesia where people continually have to drink from contaminated water sources and where they have an existing infrastructure to continue to provide the packets.

Focus group 2 2The media accompanying our trip are important to help build awareness of the global water crisis and how people can participate through the Pantene Healthy Hair for Healthy Water campaign.  Therefore, we make sure the media have time to ask questions of us as well as the beneficiaries.

This trip, we’re not only launching the Pantene effort in Indonesia, but also in the Philippines.  So, Keith Kall and I now board a plane for a red-eye, overnight flight from Padang to Jakarta to Manila.  We have time for a quick shower following our hot day in the field in Indonesia before helping lead a press conference for the Manila-based media. 

Pantene Healthy Hair for Healthy Water campaign is introduced by the Filipino celebrity Issa Litton.  My P&G Philippine colleagues Clint Navales and Anama Dimapilis introduce me to lead the briefing on CSDW.  There is a large amount of interest in the effort with more than 40 media in attendance.  The flash of the cameras and interest of the media generate enough excitement to keep Keith and I from dosing off after our overnight flight. 

Greg with Issa 2The main thrust of the Pantene campaign in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand is a “1 Like = 1 Day” Facebook effort.  For every “Like” on their Facebook page, Pantene will donate 1 day of clean water via P&G CSDW.  The goal is to raise 10 million days of clean water which will allow us to do even more to respond to future disasters in these countries.  I’m grateful for the Pantene campaign to help us continue to grow our effort to save lives with clean water. 


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