ONE DROPTM’s behaviour change through social arts approach recognized as best practice.

“Project Odisha, India, stands out for its vision and commitment to work for and with those that have the least, with respect and understanding.”
Josefina Maestu, United Nations

MONTREAL and NEW YORK, March 30, 2015—One Drop's Project Odisha, India, will be presented today with the “Water for Life” UN-Water Best Practices Award in the category “best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices” during a ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York City. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding best practices that ensure sustainable long-term management of water resources and contribute to achieving the access to safe water and basic sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals, Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

“This Best Practice Award confirms the merits of One Drop’s innovative approach of using social arts to induce behaviour change and bring about sustainable, profound results,” said Catherine B. Bachand, Chief Executive Officer of One Drop. “The impacts on the ground of the artistic activities being deployed by One Drop’s local partners are immediately felt. They generate greater awareness, community participation, cohesion and mobilization around water, sanitation and hygiene issues,” she added.

“Project Odisha, India, stands out for its vision and commitment to work for and with those that have the least, with respect and understanding. There has been a significant impact to improve sanitation practices in these communities,” said Josefina Maestu, Director of the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action: Water for Life 2005-2015. “More projects like this are needed, it is leading the way.”

Project Odisha, India: improving living conditions through social arts
Project Odisha aims to empower the local people in one of India’s poorest states to improve their living conditions through the sustainable implementation of a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program. One Drop's mission was to accelerate the implementation of its Indian partner Gram Vikas’ WASH program in 100 villages by deploying appealing educational and entertaining artistic activities anchored in local culture to raise collective awareness and mobilize communities around the theme of access to water and sanitation to improve their lives. Social art activities deployed included children’s theatre plays, travelling shows, art workshops, an art exhibition and a “Bollywood” feature film. These activities generated greater awareness, community participation, cohesion and mobilization around WASH issues.

“This award is shared among all of our partners and the people of the state of Odisha, who empowered themselves to improve their living conditions. We therefore intend to take the award back to them as they genuinely earned it,” Ms. Bachand concluded.

About One Drop
One Drop, a non-profit organization created by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, strives to ensure that water is accessible to all, today and in future. One Drop significantly and sustainably improves living conditions through innovative projects which promote self-reliance in communities worldwide. One Drop draws inspiration from circus creativity to develop professional artistic activities that are highly aesthetic, educational and entertaining, in order to increase awareness around water issues, inspire people and enable the process of social change. To learn more, visit w...OneDrop.org or follow us on Twitter (@onedrop) or Facebook (Facebook.com/OneDrop).

FOR INFORMATION:

Canada:
Stephanie Weinstein
514-923-1573
Stephanie.Weinstein@onedrop.org

Gabriel Beauséjour
514-843-2399
GBeausejour@national.ca

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