Lululemon and the United Nations Foundation have announced their partnership around an innovative program to address the mental and physical health of UN development and humanitarian workers who serve on the front lines of urgent global challenges, so they can better support communities around the world.
lululemon will commit $1 million USD over the next three years to Peace on Purpose, an evidence-based program, which provides access to mindfulness and self-care tools and resources for UN workers to build resilience in the face of adversity and stressful environments – such as responding to humanitarian emergencies, supporting communities facing poverty, and more. Peace on Purpose’s mission is to equip aid workers with the tools to care for themselves so they can effectively care for others.
CEO of lululemon, Calvin McDonald said, “lululemon and the UN Foundation share a commitment to building community and developing collaborative solutions for some of the world’s most pressing issues. With increasing need for international humanitarian aid and peacekeeping, we want to cultivate the long-lasting benefits of mindfulness tools and sustain support for those whose mission is to serve others.”
President and CEO of the UN Foundation, Kathy Calvin said, “UN workers are on the front lines of global challenges, helping people in their times of greatest need. This work can often be stressful, and the UN has made it a priority to address the well-being of its people. Innovative partnerships like Peace on Purpose can support the UN workers who support the world. With lululemon’s support, we will be able to grow the program to help more UN staff care for themselves and for others.”
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Peace on Purpose is a result of a three-year pilot led by lululemon’s Here to Be team and the UN Foundation, developed to address a series of issues, such as burnout, compassion fatigue, and stress-related physical, mental, and relational effects reported by UN staff members. Peace on Purpose has worked with UN agencies to build out trainings and workshops for more than 650 staff in US headquarters and seven additional countries – Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Sudan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Zimbabwe.
Research that followed select trainings found that over half of the participants experienced a more than 40 percent improvement in overall well-being as seen in key psychological risk factors, such as work-related self-compassion, anxiety and depression, symptoms related to trauma, and feelings of distress.
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Humanitarian aid workers report experiencing high rates of burnout, stress, and mental health stigmas in difficult global settings. Peace on Purpose’s curriculum introduces mindfulness tools as well-being resources to support current UN mental health programs. These tools – such as mindful breaths, emotion regulation, and yoga – can be implemented to meet the varying needs of UN staff in the diverse environments in which they operate.
With lululemon’s continued funding commitment and thought partnership, Peace on Purpose will aim to train 3,000 more UN development and humanitarian workers in-person over the next three years, build a hub of digital resources, and develop condensed trainings and curriculum translations to reach an additional 30,000 UN staff.
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Peace on Purpose is a key element of lululemon’s commitment to social impact and sustainability. The company’s Impact Agenda is comprised of three elements – Be Human, Be Well and Be Planet – to support and accelerate meaningful positive impact around the world.