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The Ministry of Religious Affairs of Indonesia and Unilever Indonesia Collaborate to Empower Two Million Santri and Female Santri


Average read time: 5 minutes

A sustainable synergy to encourage Indonesian santri and female santri to be healthier, more environmentally friendly and empowered.

The signing of a memorandum of understanding for the continuation of the collaboration of the Pesantren Sehat Hijau Berdaya Program

Continuing the success of the Pesantren Sehat Hijau Berdaya Program, which has been implemented since 2020, in collaboration with the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and Unilever Indonesia, a memorandum of understanding was signed today to start a new chapter with a reach that doubles the previous year’s, namely two million students in various parts of Indonesia.

The continuation of the collaboration, which was officially done by Pondok Pesantren Asshiddiqiyah Jakarta, was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Director of Zakat and Waqf Empowerment and Acting Director of Early Education and Islamic Boarding Schools from the Ministry of Religious Affairs RI, Independent Commissioner and Board of Directors of Unilever Indonesia, Caretaker of Asshiddiqiyah Islamic Boarding School, and more than 1,200 santri/female santri.

Since its beginning, the Pesantren Sehat Hijau Berdaya Program has aimed to strengthen the role of the pesantren as a center for the growth of agents of change who are able to benefit both the people and the nation.

KH. Saiful Rahmat Dasuki, S.IP., M.Si., the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia declared: “Islamic boarding schools have consistently educated millions of students throughout the country and produced scholars and kyais who have a qualified depth of religious knowledge. As an Islamic educational institution, the Pesantren plays an important role in shaping the character and morals of the younger generation, which includes aspects of their physical, emotional, social, and intellectual well-being.”

“In this modern era, we recognize the need for adjustments and innovations to make Pesantrens a place that not only offer religious education, but also an environment that supports the holistic growth and development of children. The signing of the memorandum of understanding today can hopefully strengthen the awareness about health, a clean environment, and the spirit of entrepreneurship for all Islamic boarding schools in Indonesia."

Nurdiana Darus, the Director and Corporate Secretary of Unilever Indonesia responded: "Unilever Indonesia has grown with the people of Indonesia for more than 90 years. One of our commitments is to support the creation of healthier, environmentally friendly and empowered future generations through various partnerships, which of course includes the Government and educational institutions.”

“Islamic boarding schools are one of the strategic institutions in realizing this commitment because we believe that high quality of human resources can be born from thousands of Islamic boarding schools in various regions of the archipelago - which until now have been recorded to accommodate 4.85 million santri/female santri or approximately 10% of the number of students in Indonesia[a]."

For this reason, in synergy with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Unilever Indonesia has held the Pesantren Sehat Hijau Berdaya Program since 2020 to improve the quality of life of santri/female santri and the entire Islamic Boarding School community through these three main pillars: Hygiene and Health, Nutrition, and Environmental Management.

This memorandum of understanding signing today will further strengthen the collaboration to empower Islamic boarding schools for the next five years. In the future, the Pesantren Sehat Hijau Berdaya Program will also focus on efforts to develop community-based businesses and economies through entrepreneurship training and digitalization. Meanwhile, to encourage the work of female santri in both Islamic boarding schools and the community, this program also supports women's empowerment through upskilling training aimed at sharpening various skills needed to optimize their potential.

Nurdiana explained, "Alhamdulillah, by 2023 this program reached more than 2,000 Islamic boarding schools and benefited more than one million students in 154 cities/districts. Based on this achievement, in 2024 we are targeting to expand the benefits to a total of two million students."

The three main pillars of the Pesantren Sehat Hijau Berdaya Program are contained in the following sub-programs:


    Santri Bercahaya, Sehat, dan Percaya Diri (Santri Berseri) Program: Peer-to-peer education and 21-day movement for clean and healthy lifestyle habits, in the form of:

    • Oral health education and services in the Pepsodent Senyum Sehat Program.
    • Hand washing with soap education and general health checks in the Lifebuoy Pesantren Sehat Program
    • Body hygiene education with Citra and Rexona
    • Facial skin, scalp, and hair hygiene education with Glow and Lovely, Pond's Men, Sunsilk, and Clear

    Royco Nutrimenu Pesantren Program: Peer-to-peer education and a 21-day movement for habits to serve and consume balanced nutritious food, consisting of:

    • Balanced nutrition education according to the ‘Isi Piringku’ guidelines from the Ministry of Health
    • Royco Nutrimenu-style balanced nutrition recipes for Islamic boarding schools

    Green Pesantren Program: Peer-to-peer education to realize a greener and more sustainable Pesantren environment, focusing on:

    • Waste management programs, in the form of waste sorting and handling food waste to be used in gardens whose results can be consumed to complement the nutritional needs of Islamic boarding schools residents in the Royco Nutrimenu program. Furthermore, the development of Islamic boarding schools-based waste banks
    • Water Stewardship Program to ensure more efficient recycling of water in Islamic boarding schools.

K.H. Ahmad Mahrus Iskandar, the Caretaker of the Asshiddiqiyah Islamic Boarding School and host of today's event said: "Thank you to the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Unilever Indonesia for providing a place for the santri to become healthier and stronger. Insha Allah, the Ashidiqqiyah santri will continue to provide creativity and innovation to Indonesia. Since this program continues to maintain good relations with the Islamic Boarding School, we hope that it can keep on providing benefits, thus enabling santri become strong physically and mentally so that they can innovate, be creative, and make their religion, family and country proud. Aamiin."

The entire initiative in the Pesantren Sehat Hijau Berdaya Program is presented by an array of Unilever Indonesia’s brands such as: Lifebuoy, Pepsodent, Royco, Citra, Sunsilk, Clear, Glow & Lovely, Pond's Men, Rexona, and Wall's.

Besides inaugurating this collaboration today, there were also health checks and consultations, dental and oral examinations, educational booths on self-care and balanced nutrition, and the provision of hygiene and health products, educational funding assistance for Santri Ambassadors, and educational support tools for Islamic boarding schools.

"Insha Allah, this program manifests Unilever Indonesia's commitment to work together to create various benefits for all parties, especially in terms of helping give birth to devoted, qualified and dignified future generations who, Insha Allah, will be the pioneers of change for a better future," Nurdiana concluded.

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