The room was a little rough at the edges. The surface of the concrete floor was patchy, the cracks in the walls split the yellow paint that showed its age with faded yellow paint and a thin layer of dust. The strong musk that seemed to emanate from the pile of old files that lacked protection from moisture turned out to be the excrement and urine from bats who have taken hold of the area above the ceiling.
In front of the group was the facilitator going over “sanitation” to the individuals in the room who were gathered to learn about Sanitation Marketing
Sitting in the back with me, a local NGO worker learned over to explain what was happening. “The problem is when translating from English there may not be a local word that captures the full meaning.”
A Chichewa word that is commonly shared as a good translation of sanitation only captured the essence of keeping utensils and dishes clean but didn’t capture the idea surrounding control of fecal matter, hand washing that Sanitation also entails.
A couple of hours were dedicated to unpack the words Sanitation and Marketing to ensure that things won’t be lost.