Raleigh Tanzania and RB: Helping young people change behaviours and create healthier communities

9th May 2019

Raleigh Tanzania runs effective water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects with rural schools, promoting handwashing, menstrual hygiene, water safety and good sanitation practices. One of the main reasons for working with schools is that school children are particularly impacted by a lack of sanitation facilities, water contamination and poor hygiene practices. This can lead to outbreaks of preventable diseases, such as cholera and diarrhoea, which impact both the health and ultimately the education of young Tanzanians.

School children are also targeted by these projects because young people are not only good at learning new behaviours, but they are good at influencing others. They like to share new ways of doing things with peers and family members. This allows Raleigh Tanzania to increase the impact of its WASH projects as young people act as agents of change in their local communities, encouraging others to take up healthy hygiene and sanitation behaviours.

Despite making headway with our WASH programming, recent evaluations have shown that wider communities have not been positively influenced to change their behaviours as had been hoped. To help solve this, Raleigh Tanzania is partnering with RB through the Global Volunteer Challenge to devise new ways of delivering behaviour change interventions.

The purpose of the Global Volunteer Challenge will be to utilise the professional skills and experience of RB employees to help rural communities in Tanzania develop healthy hygiene habits. In June 2019, 30 RB employees will take part in a two-week skills-based volunteering programme in Tanzania. RB volunteers will partner with 30 young Tanzanian volunteers and Raleigh Tanzania staff to design new methods to promote healthy hygiene behaviours, which will include insight gathering in communities, and then devise training materials for implementation of these new interventions to be trialled, and evaluation tools.

Ahead of the arrival of RB employees and additional Tanzanian volunteers in June, 12 former Raleigh Tanzania volunteers are currently undertaking crucial formative research in 21 remote rural communities in the Morogoro and Dodoma regions. This innovative research will investigate the cultural, social, psychological and environmental barriers and opportunities to school children supporting the uptake of safe hygiene behaviours in their homes and communities, and will be used as a foundation for the RB employees to design their ideas on.

The new behaviour change interventions will subsequently be incorporated into Raleigh Tanzania’s WASH programming later in 2019 and will be trialled and tested, before their efficacy is evaluated. The interventions developed through this innovative project will also feed into the wider sector to improve health and hygiene across Tanzania by sharing the project learnings through a jointly published report and conference, with the intention of helping other NGOs in the country create even more impact through making healthier lives and happier homes – aligning strongly with the RB organisational purpose.

Ross McKenzie, Country Director of Raleigh Tanzania, says:

“This kind of innovative programme is at the forefront of helping us accelerate greater change with our work. By designing a programme that uses relevant skills and talents of our partner RB’s employees, and uses those skills to work in collaboration with Tanzanian youth, we hope to not only make a step change in WASH programming but also enable the Tanzanian youth involved to become partners, and ultimately leaders, in development too.”

Sandra Hennessy, Social Impact & Partnerships Manager at RB, says:

“At RB we believe we have the role and responsibility to help improve individual’s lives and, in turn, support change across entire communities. Investing in social impact is a fundamental part of our ‘purpose’. By partnering with Raleigh in the Global Volunteer Challenge, our employees have a unique opportunity to understand the challenges of the community and call upon their own skills and experience to make a meaningful difference.”

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Skills-Based Volunteering Global Tanzania