I would like to introduce two Nepali words and concepts that may help in understanding the key dynamic of VAP (village alive project). In Nepal for many years, we talked about ‘bikas’ or ‘development’ as the goal of community development. This development could be measured in for example the number of hand pumps or toilet pans installed in a village and could be achieved by an NGO programme.
‘Pariwarton’ means ‘a change of mind’, and this is the goal of the Village Alive. For example, see the phototo the side of an installed but unused toilet pan. Unless there is a change of mind ie desire or understanding of why to use the toilet pan the installation of the toilet pan is actually useless. So, VAP incorporates development goals, but this is surrounded by an awakening and learning that leads to a change of behaviour of the community.