Published in: 2018
Oxfam and Unilever’s Chief Sustainability Office carried out extensive research on handwashing practice in emergency contexts. We found nurture to be one of the most powerful motivators driving handwashing with soap among mothers. Even during a crisis, mothers continue to nurture their children to ensure they go onward in life and succeed in bringing fruition to their efforts and fulfillment to their lives. Handwashing fits into this narrative of ‘nurture’, leading to ‘success’ ̶ not as a tool for good health, but rather as a part of a broader set of good manners like cutting nails, brushing and combing hair, honesty, hard work etc. that lead to living a good life.
Affiliation was also seen as a driver in emergency contexts. Mothers tend to unite together in emergencies, supporting each other and sharing resources. Other important elements for the story include the image of a dedicated spot for soap and water through very simple infrastructure, and the feeling of freshness from soap.
This central set of insights drive the creative idea shared in this presentation.
Oxfam (2018). Mum’s Magic Hands. Global Story Board. Oxfam
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