Changed Attitudes Lead to Changed Practices

MH Village*, Myanmar

 

Wellness had not been the major concern of this village. Generally, the death rate for children under five is very low, and the villagers do not have major concerns about chronic diseases. However, the villagers had a prolonged, unhealthy practice, and poor knowledge of using latrines. Due to tradition and belief, there were only 12 latrines in the entire village, where there were more than 200 households when we brought Transformational Community Development (TCD) to MH Village in 2014. 

 

The strong belief and tradition on sanitation held them back whenever it came to changing their belief and walking in a new or different way. Some of the elders of the village who were educated felt ashamed of not having a proper latrine when they had visitors from the city or other places. But they could not convince the majority towards change.

 

Essentially, TCD starts with knowledge transfer. TCD staff, along with the village leaders, began sharing TCD core lessons and health lessons to the different groups in the village for a couple years. The momentum of the training and knowledge sharing activities ignited village-initiated activities and projects. Later, it caused a transformation of the villagers’ attitude toward sanitation and wellness. As a result, a few families who could afford the cost started building their own latrines after one year of village education activities with TCD lessons. 

 

In 2019, the motivation continued to increase and more people wanted their own latrine for their household. It led the Wellness Committee and leaders to initiate a sanitation project for the purpose of fulfilling the need of a latrine for every household in the village. Basically, the project was proposed, designed, and supervised by the Wellness Committee, themselves. Along with GHNI fund contributions and the Wellness Committee, more than 45 different types of new latrines have now been built. The village members are so proud of what they have achieved amid a very challenging situation. Due to the pandemic, the work has slowed for a while, but the momentum is still strong. There are families lining up and waiting for their turn to build their own latrine under the Wellness project team management as soon as the situation improves. Thus, it is obvious that when their attitude changed, their practice also changed.

 

Thank you,

 

Solomon 

GHNI TCD Worker

*For the purposes of safety, “MH Village” is a pseudonym for the village being helped by this project.

 

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