No matter where you are in the world ‘Graduation Day’ evokes a sense of pride and celebration as it opens the door for a future of subsequent accomplishments. This was the same sentiment felt by the Home Visit Field Officers (FOs) from Kehancha and Isibania Divisions during their recent ceremony. After a busy few weeks of undergoing training and mapping the locations of their Nuru Farmer households, the FOs reconvened and officially graduated enabling them to set out on home visits.
During graduation, Scott Rumpsa (Team Leader), was the guest of honor and spoke about the importance of the FOs’ work in the community and encouraged them to do their job to the best of their ability. The FOs received their new uniforms, ID cards and backpacks, and the atmosphere was jubilant. The FOs had been involved in the design process and immediately put on their new uniforms with pride. The team broke into song when we took the group photographs – surprisingly the song of choice was “We Wish You a Merry Christmas!” The FOs are now settling into their normal work rhythm of home visits in their communities and regular meetings with their Field Managers.
Meanwhile, the social marketing latrine campaign is on the brink of launching. Nuru’s Social Marketing Strategy within the healthcare program is relatively new and is designed to reach the wider community with complementary messages that support the Home Visit Strategy. Our first campaign will focus on marketing high quality concrete latrine slabs and strong latrine pit lining which have been designed by the Research and Development Program.
Why latrines? One of the Healthcare Program’s 10 Healthy Behaviors focuses on using a latrine for defecation as latrines have long been shown to be highly effective in reducing the transmission of disease. Diarrhea kills 2.2 million people globally each year, mostly children in developing countries (WHO, 2012).
With the guidance of Fay Johnson, of Red Balloon Ideas the team identified our target audience as the heads of households, who are generally men as they make the majority of financial decisions about physical improvements to their homesteads. Formative research analyzed behavioral determinants of people who own a latrine and those who do not helped the Social Marketing Team to identify the key messages. These messages will help us to reach our audience in a tailored, targeted way, helping community members to overcome barriers to purchasing. The marketing materials designed by Red Balloon Ideas and Advocate Creative highlight affordability, durability, safety and the ease of the purchasing process. The logo, posters, fliers and are really eye catching and informative, and we are eager to start distributing them. The team has also identified key channels to reach the majority the decision making target audience, including campaigning at chiefs’ barazas (community meetings), livestock markets, Nuru Agriculture and Community Economic Development meetings, market days and many other events over the next couple of months. Stay tuned for more stories of latrines and better health in the community!