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Calls for introduction of happiness lessons in schools grow as new programme is found to have significant impact

Calls for introduction of happiness lessons in schools grow as new programme is found to have significant impact

PR Newswire

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, March 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Wall's, the Unilever-owned ice cream company on a mission to make the world a happier, more inclusive place, one street at a time, has announced on International Day of Happiness its aspirations to reach three million children with its new Happiness Project by 2025.

The aim comes after successful pilots led more than half of teachers to say that almost all [80%] children demonstrated an increased motivation to learn after taking part in the programme1.

The Happiness Project programme teaches children the fundamentals of wellbeing and resilience in school. With the backing of several eminent wellbeing experts, it was developed in partnership with Project Everyone, the creators of the United Nation's World's Largest Lesson, after research found that over two thirds of children say that feeling lonely is one of the biggest reasons why they feel unhappy today [69%]2.

The research, commissioned by Wall's, also found that almost all children and adults [90%] across the world agree that happiness lessons are as important for children to learn in school as other topics including reading and maths2.

Following this, 135,000 children in Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, and China were part of the pilot programme over the past year. Now, Wall's and Project Everyone will bring similar smiles to schools across Europe – including Germany, Sweden, and Southeast Asia, later this year – setting them up to develop the skills that will help them live a life of fulfilment and happiness

The programme also meets growing calls from some of the world's most respected wellbeing scientists for wider introduction of happiness lessons into schools. They believe those with happy lives have mastered positive daily habits and mindsets, and that understanding what these are from an early age will help people to lead more fulfilled lives. It is these five traits – social connection, movement, creativity, kindness, and gratitude – that form the key pillars of The Happiness Project.

Lord Richard Layard, editor of the World Happiness Report and Emeritus Professor of Economics at LSE, said: "Thankfully, happiness is not something that is decided by only your genes or environment. Nurturing social relationships, connecting with your community, and looking after one's mental health have all been proven drastically to improve one's happiness levels, and, incidentally, are all things that we can be taught to do! That's why – as someone who has campaigned for the introduction of happiness lessons for decades – The Happiness Project is so exciting."

Julien Barraux, Chief Marketing Officer, Ice Cream at Unilever, said: "We know how important happiness is at Wall's - Happiness is in our DNA, after all. Our ice creams have made people throughout the world happier for 100 years, but we want that happy feeling that our sticks provide to last longer than just an ice cream. After seeing just how much children and parents wanted and needed happiness lessons, we were left with little choice but to do something about it. In The Happiness Project we have a terrific solution, and we are looking forward to rolling it out across other countries, spreading happiness one street at a time."

Ever since it was established in the early 20th Century, Wall's has had an undeniable connection to happiness. When eaten, the company's ice creams have been scientifically proven to trigger a response in the brain that results in feelings of happiness and contentment. What's more, eight-in-ten of its ice creams are eaten when people are connecting with others; and social connection has been proven to be one of the most significant drivers of happiness3.

To find out more about Wall's mission to spread happiness, and The Happiness Project, visit: 

Research Methodology:

  • 1 All data found by Project Everyone in Pakistan of 380 students, out of the programme which reached 5,048 students, across 25 schools and 50 teachers 2023.
  • 2 All data listed above found through a survey conducted by Play Verto in seven countries with 17,863 respondents of adults and children
  • 3 Linley, P. A., Dovey, H., de Bruin, E., Transler, C., Wilkinson, J., Maltby, J., & Hurling, R. (2013). Two simple, brief, naturalistic activities, and their impact on positive affect: feeling grateful and eating ice cream. Psychology of Well-Being: Theory, Research and Practice, 3(1), 6.

About Unilever and Wall's

Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 155,000 employees and generated sales of €52 billion in 2019.

Wall's is the largest and most loved ice cream brand globally. At the turn of last century, our founders took over streets across the globe to spread their ice-cream magic. The result? Happier hearts opening up to each other. We believe that, as a brand, we can play a huge role in building a happier more inclusive world, one street at a time.

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