BraveHER, BoldHER, & StrongHER: Beiersdorf, Watsons and Plan International unite to Empower Filipinas on International Day of the Girl

Beiersdorf executives turning over their PhP1,000,000.00 donation to Watsons Philippines and Punlaan School on International Day of the Girl. The donation will benefit Punlaan School’s pharmacist scholars.

Around the world, girls are leading the charge for change — breaking glass ceilings in various fields and professions and challenging perceptions about what is possible for them.

Recognizing this, Beiersdorf Philippines, Watsons, and Plan International Pilipinas collaborated to string together a series of initiatives to create sustainable pathways that will allow young women to realize their full potential, unhindred by the biases and barriers that have long held girls and women back.

These initiatives are carried out in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl (IDG). Held annually on October 11, IDG is a powerful occasion to bring the world’s attention to the realities and lived experiences of girls and young women.

To mark IDG, all three organizations have joined hands for the “BraveHER, BoldHER, & StrongHER: Redefining Girls’ Power to Take Charge, Break Barriers, and Thrive” event. This event serves as a platform to foster discussions about girl’s rights and gender equality, with a particular focus on equitable and quality health services, as well as career empowerment to increase their economic resilience

Bringing together Nimisha Jain Country Manager Beiersdorf Philippines, Cathy Seco of Executive Director Plan International Pilipinas, and Sharon Decapia, AVP for Marketing, PR & Sustainability of Watsons in one panel became an opportunity to open a genuine dialogue and prompt first-hand discussions about the importance of advancing girls’ rights, including their right to equal opportunities, celebrating their achievements, and raising awareness about the challenges they face.

“We care beyond skin for an inclusive society and aim to foster social cohesion. From the get-go, our efforts are grounded in our goal of providing inclusive education, promoting protective environments, and fostering skills development in girls. Every initiative is a reflection of our commitment. And the progress of these young girls showcases the impact of our collective effort,” says Nimisha Jain.

The invaluable participation of Punlaan scholars and youth advocates from Plan International Pilipinas also provided valuable insights into what it’s like to be a girl in today’s world and their shared hopes for a gender-equal society, where they are treated as experts in their own experiences, as agents of change, and as equal partners.

But more than joining hearts and minds for a conversation, the event also provided a chance for all partners to express their commitment towards supporting girls and young women in the country.

From L-R: Twyla David, Portfolio Manager, Gender & Inclusion and Child & Youth Engagement, Plan International Piliipinas, Nimisha Jain, Country Manager of Beiersdorf Philippines, Stephanie Barraud, Senior Vice President of Beiersdorf ASEAN, Kim Reyes, Director, Trading Beauty & Commercial Services of Watsons Philippines, Sharon Decapia, AVP for Marketing, PR & Sustainability of Watsons, Ana Maria Locsin, Executive Director of Plan International Pilipinas, Philippe Magentie, Global Sales Director of Beiersdorf Global, and Cathy Seco, Program Director of Plan International Pilipinas sign Beiersdorf, Watsons, and Plan International Pilipinas’ commitment of support to empowering young Filipinas.

Beiersdorf is setting their sights high with an ambitious target: to make a positive impact on the lives of 300,000 people in total by 2023 through the Empowering Girls projects. To achieve this Beiersdorf has set up programs that offer quality, inclusive education, promote protective environment and strenghten health services, an ideal environment for girls and young women to thrive. To demonstrate this commitment, Beiersdorf Philippines’ formal declaration of support for Filipina girls, aligns seamlessly with Beiersdorf’s global commitment, which kickstarted in 2020 and is set to continue until 2025.

Additionally, the company is turning over donating PhP1M to Punlaan School’s Pharmacist Scholars, providing young women and girls with a better chance to realize their dreams of becoming pharmacists. To generate the funds, Beiersdorf dedicated a portion of all NIVEA sales made at Watsons stores from July 15 to August 31, 2023.

Plan International, a development, humanitarian, child and youth-girl-centered organization working in the Philippines since 1961, adopts a lifecycle and gender-transformative approach to economic empowerment.

“Girls and young women make up the majority of the world’s 628 million unemployed young people. They don’t have access to education or job training, preventing them from getting the skills they need to access decent work and break out of poverty,” said Ana Maria Locsin.

“This is why this event serves as a unique opportunity for us to come together and ensure that every girl can pursue the career and life she wants,” Locsin added.

The organization is currently implementing projects that provide support to girls and young women from a young age and throughout each stage of life, enabling them to make economic decisions while challenging the gender norms and societal stigmas imposed upon them.

Watsons, as the leading health, wellness and beauty retailer brand, also recognizes their influence to change lives and uplift communities. As part of Watsons’ Sustainable programs under the “People” pillar,

Watsons’ has chosen Punlaan School, a renowned institution that caters to young women from underserved communities by providing essential training and education, to be the center for the Watsons Apprenticeship Program. Through this special 6-month program, young women are eqipped with the skills needed for a successful career path with Watsons.

“This Apprenticeship Program with Punlaan school reflects our commitment to support and create job opportunities for young women,” shares Josefina Arriola, People Innovations Project Director  of Watsons. “Our goal is to be able to educate and equip them with the skills to be job-ready and empowered members of the community.”

It is also worth noting that this is more than just a one-day event for these organizations. BraveHER, BoldHER, & StrongHER comes in the tails of two other activities: the recent “Girls Takeover” hosted in five Watsons stores and the “Girls on the Rise” Career Workshop.

In partnership with Watsons and Plan Pilipinas International, Beiersdorf (makers of NIVEA) participated in “Girls Takeover”, a one-day program that gave 10 chosen young Filipinas the opportunity to learn, acquire essential work skills, and experience corporate world from Beiersdorf and Watsons leaders.

A signature IDG event of Plan International, the Girls Takeover aims to encourage girls to occupy spaces where they are rarely seen or heard, engaging in conversations that empower them to learn, lead, decide, and thrive. On September 30, Watsons and Beiersdorf welcomed 10 girl advocates who had the opportunity to take over the positions of Beauty Ambassadors, Cashiers, and Store Managers for a day.

As a follow-through activity to the Girls Takeover, the career workshop focused on developing the girl advocates’ intrapersonal skills, which are essential for success in the job market. During this workshop, Beiersdorf and Watsons staff actively engaged with the girl advocates by conducting modules focused on personal development and personal and professional values. These modules provided valuable insights and skills that empowered the advocates and boosted their readiness for future employment opportunities.

“We believe that girls can be bigger than any barrier, bolder than any bias, and stronger than their struggles. Our collective goal is to provide them with opportunities to overcome obstacles and thrive in all aspects of their lives,” said Locsin.

To learn more about NIVEA Philippines’ ongoing commitments and initiatives in empowering the young Filipina community, visit https://www.beiersdorf.com

To know more about Plan International Pilipinas’ work in advancing children’s rights and equality for girls in the Philippines, visit: https://plan-international.org/philippines/.

To know more about Watsons Philippines sustainability initiatives and efforts to support communities, visit https://www.watsons.com.ph/sustainabilityand www.watsons.com.ph.

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