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Dove, ‘Hope For Children’ present youth initiative results

Dove, 'Hope For Children' present youth wellbeing campaign results

Dove and Hope For Children CRC Policy Center presented the results and next objectives of the “I Feel Confident” programme, at a press conference held on April 15, 2024 at the Education Ministry, under the auspices of Minister for Education, Sports and Youth, Dr Athena Michaelidou.

More than 1,000 school students, aged between 10 and 17 years old, have so far been impacted by the “I Feel Confident” educational programme, launched by Dove in Cyprus in 2022, in collaboration with the international humanitarian organisation Hope For Children CRC Policy Center. The programme’s vision is to help young people develop a positive relationship with their bodies and themselves, maximising their potential, free of stress and worry about their appearance.

One of Unilever’s largest brands worldwide, Dove has promoted standards of true beauty for over 60 years, while the global “Dove Self Esteem” campaign, launched in 2004, has focused on young people, who are particularly vulnerable to the influence and unrealistic beauty standards of social media.

Dove, 'Hope For Children' present youth wellbeing campaign results

Adopting the experiential learning method, the project for schools, developed in Cyprus by Dove and Hope For Children, with the approval of the Ministry of Education and Culture, documents how social networks influence children’s self-image. During visits to secondary schools, Hope For Children’s specialist officers analysed, in collaboration with the children themselves, how they perceived today’s beauty standards, discussing ways in which they can manage any pressures regarding their physical appearance and the impact on their self-confidence. The “I Feel Confident” programme is also aimed at teachers, and students’ parents, empowering them with tools and methods to understand and manage young people’s self-confidence issues effectively.

Welcoming the event, Education Minister Michaelidou, stressed the Ministry’s support for this important youth initiative and praised the work of Dove and Hope for Children. “The cooperation with entities such as Unilever Tseriotis Cyprus and the non-profit organisation Hope for Children-CRC Policy Center contributes to the effort to implement the goal of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth to empower our students with skills that will allow them to face the ever-changing conditions and challenges of our time, both on a personal and social level,” she said.

The programme aims to empower 6,000 students by 2027.

For his part, Head of Marketing at Unilever Tseriotis Cyprus, Nikos Benioudakis, referenced the Dove brand’s long-term commitment to contribute to a world where beauty is a source of confidence, stress.

“The Dove brand’s goal is, by 2030, to help over 250 million young people around the world to love themselves and their image,” he said.

“The ‘I Feel Confident’ educational programme that we have launched in Cyprus is part of this commitment. With the help of our excellent partner, Hope For Children CRC Policy Center, but also with the valuable support of the Ministry, we have managed, within two years, to educate 5 per cent of secondary school students. Continuing our efforts even more vigorously, we aspire to reach 15 per cent of our students by the end of 2027, positively impacting their development and empowerment,” he added.

Hope For Children CRC Policy Center Executive Director Andria Neocleous, meanwhile, placed a special emphasis on the value of educational tools.

“Investing in education is the most powerful tool we have to eliminate the prejudices and stereotypes that negatively affect the lives of thousands of children in Cyprus,” she pointed out. “That is why this valuable collaboration between our organisation, Dove and the Ministry continues this year, implementing the programme in secondary schools across Cyprus, with the aim of benefiting an even greater number of children, and collecting more data, on the basis of which we will continue to plan actions.”

For more information about Dove’s “I Feel Confident” programme, interested parties can contact the Hope For Children CRC Policy Center by calling 1466, or visit: www.uncrcpc.org.cy

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