Change Agents: A journey towards hygiene behaviour change

Hygiene Apa

Joti, 20, had made herself a fine example for women working in the ready-made garments of the country to live. She aims to improve health outcomes and workers’ productivity in the garment industry by raising their awareness on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Joti has been volunteering as a Change Agent and empowers the RMG factory workers with hygiene education and practices.

“The learning and sharing knowledge on WASH builds a sense of community in my work. I feel happy when my co-workers benefited from the learning session and implement those at the workplace and at home. Through this training, I got the opportunity to inform people about everything I learned.” Joti Explains.

Hygiene Apa showing proper handwashing

“I have been working as a General Operator, now selected as a Change Agent and took part in the training about WASH. There I have learned about handwashing, safe water, improved sanitation, and menstrual hygiene management.

I learnt many new things during the training sessions, including the proper way of washing hands and showing this to my co-workers. I also taught my mother how to wash hands properly with soap. So, now my mother can take proper care of my son when I go to work every day."

Hygiene Apa

"Safe menstrual practices were an important part of the discussion. As a Change Agent, I feel that women and girls should practice proper menstrual hygiene management (MHM). Talking about menstrual hygiene sessions with men was difficult for me because I had not done it yet; but in our training sessions, facilitators taught us that informing men about menstrual hygiene is as important as informing women. If they do not know about it, how can they support their wife, mother, or sister? I support my co-workers by emphasizing on the necessity of talking about MHM openly."

Hygiene Apa handing over sanitary napkin

Joti's journey is as a Change Agent is transformative and she observed some behavior changes among the RMG workers already. While the number is low, she is confident that with time, this will improve as she exercises her role as a hygiene champion.

In total, 90 people, inclusive of both women and men workers, were selected and trained to become Change Agents in three factories under the project.