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A Closer Look at Development: WASH United

In our ‘A Closer Look’ series, we highlight an organization which puts a high value on aid and the development of vulnerable locations. We’re highlighting the compassionate WASH United in the third edition of our brand new series.

WASH United, a frontrunner in sanitation development

Sanitation is a major issue for many non-governmental organizations. The global community has dedicated itself to resolving humanitarian sanitation issues in the next 15 years under the new Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September 2015. Because to this very day, almost 40% of the world population do not have access to a clean toilet. Even something basic as hand-washing with soap is not common in large parts of the world, with terrible consequences as a result. Diarrhea caused by poor sanitation and lack of hygiene kills almost one million children every year. That’s more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. WASH United is one of the most well-known and most active NGOs currently working in this area of humanitarian development. They’re trying to solve humanitarian sanitation issues all around the world.

WASH United stands for WAter, Sanitation, and Hygiene. It's a non-profit organization which works as a cross-breed between a typical NGO and a creative agency. They work to end the global sanitation and hygiene crisis by making toilets and good hygiene "cool" and "sexy". Sanitation and hygiene issues are often communicated using negative, health-based messaging. WASH uses a different approach for changing people’s attitudes, desires and establishing and sustaining new behavior.

Based on insights from behavioral psychology, they’ve developed a unique approach to raise toilet use and good hygiene from a low priority to a personal aspiration. All of their efforts are designed to create positive messages that connect with people emotionally and inspire change. This approach has enabled them to build new creative partnerships beyond the WASH sector, including with sports federations and actors. This allows WASH to create exciting, cost-effective and replicable interventions that can achieve advocacy and behavior change outcomes at a great scale.

We are proud to serve multiple compassionate organizations who try to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide. Interested in more stories? Please follow our blog for more humanitarian stories, organizations and travel information. Do you have in mind another organization we should highlight in the near future? Feel free to contact us via Twitter.