In rural Tanzania, water contamination and lack of knowledge around good hygiene practices are all too commonplace. When people are unable to follow good practices around areas such as handwashing and food hygiene, communities are at higher risk of facing cholera outbreaks and diarrhoea transmission, putting strain on families and posing a real and tangible threat to livelihoods.
But at the heart of these communities are young people who are ready to change this. SWASH Heroes are young champions of clean water and sanitation leading change in their communities. Let them introduce themselves…
Amina and Ibrahim are just two of over a hundred SWASH Heroes currently taking action in their communities.
The SWASH Heroes programme was designed in partnership with 30 employees from RB, who took part in the Global Volunteer Challenge, and Raleigh young leaders in Tanzania. Using key insights and findings from the formative research conducted by the young leaders, teams worked with RB employees to develop ideas to spread healthier hygiene practices and conduct research visits in rural communities to understand how their behaviour change ideas might work in practice. These ideas were then developed into a proposal and pitched to a panel of Raleigh Tanzania and RB stakeholders. Ideas were considered against a criteria set by Raleigh Tanzania to ensure the best impact – and SWASH Heroes was one of the successfully pitched ideas!
Through the programme, SWASH Heroes are trained on key hygiene behaviours and how to share these across their homes, schools and in their wider communities. Students are trained on making changes in the home using child friendly resources which young SWASH Heroes can take home with them. SWASH Heroes are incentivised to share more and more information about health and hygiene through t-shirts and certificates which are awarded to those who share the most.
Through their influence, SWASH Heroes are creating a wave of behaviour change around water and sanitation practices to create healthier homes in rural areas.
Happy Global Handwashing Day!
The SWASH Hero initiative is part of the ‘Healthier Lives, Happier Homes’ programme, designed in partnership with 30 employees from RB. Find out more about the partnership and the creation of the innovative programme.