The art behind behavioral change in Nicaragua Rural

The project "Looking for the path towards universal access to ASH in the Autonomous Region of the North Caribbean Coast (RACCN), Nicaragua" or Nicaragua Rural Project, develops training processes with educators and community leaders to address behavioral change through art.

With the participation of 143 people in Waslala and Puerto Cabezas, training processes began for Leaders of Change, based on the Social Art for Behaviour ChangeTM (SABC) approach of the One DropTM Foundation.

These were aimed at educators and community leaders through various cultural activities led by groups of artists, in order to mobilize the entire community around key behaviors.

Social Art for Behaviour Change includes various techniques, methodologies and disciplines such as theater, music and play, aspects that allow for reflection based on previous learning, and experiences on key behaviors that are intended to be changed through these interventions.

Creative exercise in the Social Art for Behaviour Change workshop in Karata Community.

"I like this training that WaterAid is providing because it is participatory. We use games, fun and art to promote hand-washing. We used to promote it before, but it is not the same as using this methodology to do it with children," said Alberto Martínez, a teacher in Karata community.

Thus, these exercises, where the search for reason and emotions connection are the main objective, have allowed reflection on inadequate hand-washing practices in schools, which has made possible to promote replicable and sustainable changes through the application of this novel approach.

"This process of Social Art for Behaviour Change with teachers helps us to make children aware of hand-washing at critical moments, so this can be replicated directly at home with their mothers, who ensure food preparation in their homes. It has made it much easier for me to get closer to them through games, singing and painting. All of this allows us to reflect on this behavior," said Kenny Castillo, a teacher in Karata community.

In addition, spaces have been painted in Waslala with colors and a lot of creativity. Through puppet plays, the Leaders of Change carry out replicas and they already recognize changes in the children and adolescents. They practice with them hygiene habits and hand-washing with clean water and soap.

"At school, through puppets and stories, we have been able to identify how children wash their hands with soap and clean water. In first grade groups, for example, we use a song and they have to scrub their hands with soap for as long as the song lasts. The example is fundamental. They should see how we adults wash our hands so that they do it too," commented Aleyda Arauz, teacher at Waslala.

To generate impact in individual, interpersonal and community areas, promoting the adoption of healthy and sustainable practices related to water, sanitation and hygiene, it is essential to integrate existing community leaders and other community members throughout the process. These people, who are trained within the framework of the Program and participate in various Program activities, become Leaders of Change.

The SABC approach is at the heart of the One Drop Foundation's A·B·C for Sustainability model, which comprises the components Access, Social Art for Behaviour Change and Capital.

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