Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. Approximately 10,500 children die from diarrhea related diseases each year and 40% of school aged children are infected with intestinal worms. This is largely due to negative hygiene and sanitation habits; for example 60% of the population defecates in the open. In oder to promote positive hygiene and sanitation habits, I build on of what people know by using indigenous and familiar forms of communication, such as cultural signs and symbols. The Community Led-Total Sanitation (CLTS) program, is currently used to promote Open Defecation Free (ODF) enivironments. To bring about change this program uses fear and disgust as triggers.
From June to December 2013, I collected data and tested effective forms of positive communication by connecting hygiene and sanitation habits to cultural norms and traditions. I believe a program built on these values will be more accepted and sustainable in the long term. I collected feed back from communities, International Non Governmental Organizations, and government experts. I am currently re-designing and testing the revised visual messages to make them as revenant and effective as possible from the Nepalese view point.