WASH United’s approach is different: their curricula use fun, physical education games, and sports elements to take trainings out of the classroom. The entire curricula is designed to engage children and teacher/ trainers in an interactive and participatory way. Playing games enables participants to generate their own insights and create positive attitudes, which ultimately result in motivation to act. All WASH and menstrual hygiene games are not only fun and easy to understand, but also able to transfer core messages. In addition, playing and learning together is affirming a sense of solidarity within the group and is very rewarding. Especially around the topic of menstruation which may be seen as shameful, playing together can overcome this resentment and shame. Additional information, education, and communications (IEC) materials with superstar role models from sports (cricket in Asia, and football in Africa) support knowledge transfer and behavior change.
The curriculum includes hugely popular games such as “World Toilet Cup” (motto: “every poo needs a loo”), “Blue Hand Game”, “Hand washing Challenge” and the TippyTap competition. For menstrual health they have games such as “knocking down the myths“.
Right now they are developing the “Happy Box”, a play-based WASH treasure box that contains a combination of their exciting, low-cost action-oriented WASH games. The “Happy Box"will have an exciting overarching story arc and a competitive game plan to ensure that schools stay motivated and continue using the “Happy Box” over time.
Over the past 5 years, WASH United has trained more than 150,000 children and gathered unique expertise on how to use games, play and positive messaging to promote knowledge and behavior change around WASH issues. WASH United’s approach has been awarded LEGO & ASHOKA’s #reimagine learning Award in 2014.
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Partners: WASH United develops curricula and content and makes this available to their partners, including capacity building if required. Partners are from the WASH and Sport 4 Development sector. There is very strong demand for their unique game-based WASH curricula, including their new menstrual hygiene tools. However, at the moment they focus on partners working at scale (such as WaterAid, Unicef, WfP, SPLASH, partners of streetfootballworld, etc.). They work with smaller partners for research and development of content. They especially are looking to work with partners that have an infrastructure program, where WASH United's behavior change approach can be complementary.