The Model Home Strategy

August 12, 2013 • Niger

Samaritan's Purse helped Chaibou Harouna set up his home with better hygiene and sanitation. Now, he tells us how the home has changed his family's life.

Ibrahim Saibou works with the Samaritan’s Purse Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) program in Niger. Recently, he visited the home of Chaibou Harouna, who lives in a model house. The home is a way to promote hygiene and sanitation in the village. When a local household sets up its home in the ideal way (installing a latrine, hand-washing station, rubbish pit, etc.), it becomes an example and promoter for good hygiene and sanitation in the entire village. Below is a transcript of the meeting between the two men.

Ibrahim Saibou: Hello, Mr. Chaibou. How are you? I work for Samaritan’s Purse’s WASH program, and I would like to ask you some questions about your household.

Chaibou Harouna: Thank you for having chosen my household for this interview. You can ask your questions.


With the addition of a latrine, a hand-washing station, and a place to put their trash, Chaibou’s family’s overall health and well-being have improved.

Ibrahim Saibou: What do you think of the intervention of Samaritan’s Purse in your village?

Chaibou Harouna: Honestly, the arrival of Samaritan’s Purse is a gift of God. It’s as though someone was dying from a serious illness and you are offering them a miracle pill that saves them from the grip of death. That’s how I would describe the intervention of the project in our village.

Ibrahim Saibou: What have you noticed about the hygiene activities in your village?

Chaibou Harouna: We’ve seen a profound change in hygiene in our village, even in the way we live together as a community. I can give the example of the Water Point Committee, which is something we’ve never known here before. But today, thanks to SP, we have this structure and also the women are grouped in women’s savings associations. All these things mean that we can take our future in hand.

Ibrahim Saibou: What has motivated you to maintain your household like this?


Chaibou’s family is an example to others in the community. Through his initiative, others will begin better hygiene practices.

Chaibou Harouna: I remember one day I was coming back from the market in Kagarki [a neighboring village]. I found you holding a village assembly. Instead of going straight back home, I said to myself, ‘I should go and see what’s happening.’ It was at that time that I learned a lot about the risks we are exposed to through open defecation. I also took on-board the idea of a model home that you were explaining at the meeting. When I returned home I shared the idea with my wife, Mariama, who also welcomed it.

Ibrahim Saibou: Apart from the model home, which themes have motivated you the most to practice good hygiene?

Chaibou Harouna: It’s true to say that everything you teach us is important for us, but according to me, hand washing is the most important. It’s something which we neglected before, yet it can keep us safe against diarrhea.

Ibrahim Saibou: And what do you think about the model home initiative?

Chaibou Harouna: Its very interesting, and it’s the only way for us to assure our well-being as well as for our children through improving our way of life in order to reduce the risks we are exposed to, despite our little knowledge and modest means.

Ibrahim Saibou: Thank you, Mr. Chaibou. I would like to encourage you on behalf of Samaritan’s Purse to continue your efforts to help others in your village.

Chaibou Harouna: It’s for us to say thank you, and may God bless Samaritan’s Purse.