Bilharzia Storytelling Lab - Looking for Storytellers in Kenya

Bilharzia Storytelling Lab - Looking for Storytellers in Kenya

  • The Bilharzia Storytelling Lab is looking for 20 community leaders and innovative storytellers in Kenya.

  • The Lab is a hackathon focused on developing innovative communication tools that can support Bilharzia elimination efforts (also known as Schistosomiasis) in Kenya.

  • All teams will take part in the competition of 10.000 USD for implementation of the project with Merck’s support.

  • Throughout the program you will have access to masterclasses and top experts from NGOs, foundations, corporates, universities and the
    public sector.

  • You will learn about behavioral change, powerful communications tools and key drivers in the health space while becoming part of a movement of passionate storytellers that works
    collaboratively to eliminate Bilharzia.

  • The Storytelling Lab includes two pre-lab workshops on January 9th and 16th and the Lab itself from January 28th-30th.

  • The Bilharzia Storytelling Lab is hosted and sponsored by Merck and is free of charge.

  • Merck actively supports the efforts of achieving the targets of WHO’s NTD Road

    Creative Communication is Needed to Improve Prevention and Control of Bilharzia

  • Bilharzia (also known as Schistosomiasis) is an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms.

  • People are infected during routine agricultural, domestic, occupational and recreational activities, which expose them to infested water.

  • Currently, six million Kenyans are infected, and another 15 million are at risk of contracting Bilharzia.

  • While prevention and control programs have been rolled out in Kenya – including the distribution of medicine – there are still too many people unaware of how to prevent Bilharzia.

  • Risk groups such as school-aged children, domestic workers and agricultural workers in contact with infested waters continue getting the disease and suffering its long-term effects when left untreated.

  • Successes in preventing and controlling Bilharzia hinge on behavioral change on the ground.

  • We aspire to change behaviors through impactful storytelling that creatively improves awareness and access to information.

  • Through convening experts for participation in an innovative Storytelling Lab, we will produce better communications on how to prevent and control

    Bilharzia and ultimately Eliminate It

  • Aap 2030, which ultimately ensures the
    global elimination of Bilharzia.

  • Merck has provided more than 1 billion
    tablets to date but wants to support more initiatives for prevention and treatment of the disease.

    Why should you Participate as a Storyteller?

  • Make a difference and learn how to spark behavioral change

  • Create impactful stories through an immersive innovation program and learn how to change health behaviors for Bilharzia elimination from experts in storytelling, media production and health promotion

  • Get the chance to win 10,000 USD of implementation support

  • The winning storytelling project will be supported with seed funding of 10,000 USD to implement a pilot and will have a chance to work with Merck on upscaling the project to other communities, the national level or
    other countries

  • Get acquainted with a new toolkit to solve complex issues

  • Acquire skills in innovation and design thinking that can be applied in professional endeavors beyond the Storytelling

  • Become part of a network

  • Join a network of experts, mentors, facilitators, and be introduced to organizations

  • Discover New opportunities

  • Create connections and discover new opportunities for collaboration with
    experts, mentors and organizations

  • A proven methodology to create powerful stories

  • The Storytelling Lab combines storytelling with human-centered design thinking.

  • Through this methodology, participants dig deep into root causes of challenges related to global development and are provided with ways of structuring both stories and impact campaigns.

  • Human-centered design thinking puts the human aspect at the center of the proposed solution with the aim of making sure products are relevant for the people you want to serve.

  • By merging processes used in social innovation with traditional journalism we allow storytellers to think in a more structured way
    about their processes and more thoroughly about the potential impact of their stories.

    How the Storytelling Lab works

  • A group of storytellers are anchored around a community leader with knowledge of the specific challenge that is being addressed.

  • The community leader holds insights about previous initiatives and the cultural context, while the storytellers add creative skills.

    Who can Apply to be a Storyteller?

    Eligibility Criteria

    • Between 18 and 40 years old

    • Currently based in Kenya or ability to be in Kenya during the lab

    • High reading and speaking proficiency in English

    • Experience working with either storytelling, journalism or communications

    • Availability for the full program from pre-lab phase on January 9th and 16th to the Lab itself January 28th-30th

    Preferred Qualifications

  • Desire to Initiate and Implement Ideas and Solutions

    • Knowledge of or strong interest in health and/or development

    • Specific expertise e.g. tech skills or experience in social impact, the political
    landscape, community building, etc. communication expertise, etc.) Preferred

    How to Apply

    In order to apply you need to:

    • Link to an online CV or portfolio (LinkedIn or website)

    • Gather at least two examples of work you have done as a storyteller and make sure you have a link to them (If you don’t have any previous work samples, you can upload an audition video or other creative project showcasing your motivation or storytelling approach)

    • Ensure you are available to participate in all parts of the program in January 2021

    • The application deadline is the 24th of November 2020

  • If you have any questions regarding the application process reach out to Luise Jochimsen (

    For more information and application details, see Bilharzia Storytelling Lab - Looking for Storytellers in Kenya

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