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Published on: 02/06/2021

IRC has been organising the Ton Schouten Award for WASH Storytelling since 2017 with the aim of supporting talented, young communicators who are working tirelessly on bringing change in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. 

This year, we again received inspiring applications from around the Globe, one of them being Khorik Istiana's, from Indonesia. 

How to make sanitation a trendy topic for youth? 

Khorik Istiana (26 years), is Chairman of Youth with Sanitation Concern (YSC), a youth community that focuses on WASH issues.

Established in Lampung, Indonesia, since 2018, YSC aims to become the pioneer of driving safely managed sanitation behaviour change in communities. YSC actively promotes sanitation issues, including safely managed sanitation, menstrual hygiene management, handwashing with soap, maintenance of sanitation facilities and engages in both online and offline activities. YSC presents sanitation in creative ways to make it an attractive topic for communities, especially focused on engaging young people. This is in line with YSC's mission, which is to foster youth and community participation in creating safely managed sanitation.

Khorik is dedicated to the vision and mission of YSC, often acts as a speaker or facilitator, and uses her creativity to initiate and drive conversations about sanitation in various ways.

For one, she develops social media campaigns and creates flyer designs for social media channels, such as the following flyers:

YSC designs by Khorik

She is also a script writer and video editor. In this video, young people are being asked what they know about septic tanks: 

And Khorik also makes podcasts where speakers from different walks of life (influencers, travel bloggers, health and government officials, sanitation workers, authors, and YSC members) are interviewed about the relationship between toilet maintenance and tourism, about how it is key that men understand menstrual hygiene management, about hygiene behaviour when climbing mountains and much more: 

No matter the medium or format, the storytelling skills and creativity of Khorik enrich and drive home YSC messages in style. 

About winning the Ton Schouten Award for WASH storytelling

In the words of our selection committee members - Jane Nabunnya Mulumba, Liduin Schouten, Nick Burn and Dave Trouba - Khorik's passion in her expression of the urgency and importance of the issues she is highlighting comes across clearly and is communicated in a very original way. Sanitation is often considered a taboo or is just not trendy enough as an interesting conversation topic, so it needs presenting in creative ways to attract and mobilise communities, especially young people. Youth groups are often socially excluded, especially in WASH, but Khorik's efforts to involve them in the conversation about safely managed sanitation is commendable. 

We also asked Khorik how she felt about winning the award. This is the message we received:

Hello, I'm Khorik!

I am very pleased and honoured to be nominated for the 2021 Ton Schouten Award for WASH Storytelling. Being nominated for this award is a trigger for me to work even harder to be able to voice the issue of sanitation in the community, especially to youth.

I would like to thank SNV for supporting me and my team at YSC. To my dearest YSC team, without you none of this would have happened. Thank you also to IRC for choosing me.

I believe in the power of youth. If more and more young people talk about sanitation issues according to their interests and through integrated media, sanitation will become a sexier issue. This corresponds to YSC's vision which is to become a pioneer in safe sanitation. Hopefully the prize from this award can support our vision of creating new pioneers who can help us voice the issue of sanitation.

We must inspire others to join because our dream to live in a healthy, safe and comfortable environment is far from being feasible. And of course, I will collaborate with various stakeholders to jointly voice sanitation issues.

Thank you!


What's next?

We continue to be in touch with Ton Schouten Award applicants, previous and new winners throughout the year. Keep an eye on this page dedicated to all things Ton Schouten Award for information about the award and updates on the work of talented young communicators in the WASH community. We will also share updates on Khorik's activities on this page. So stay tuned.


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