Storytelling Lab

Raising awareness on the causes of bilharzia is key to prevent it. Learn more about our approach.

The Concept

As part of our efforts to raise awareness on the causes of bilharzia and ways to prevent it, we have introduced the concept of the Bilharzia Storytelling Lab.
The lab builds on the human-centered design thinking approach, developed by Dalberg Media, a mission-driven communications and experience consultancy, which seeks to empower and mobilize people to solve global development challenges by collective, sustained action. This approach puts the risk group at the core of the solutions development and brings together local storytellers to work with experts from health organizations and non-profits to ensure solutions are both creative and effective.


The Bilharzia Storytelling Lab 2024 will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from March 18th until March 22nd. We are looking for Ethiopian storytellers to come to our creative workshop to contribute to the prevention of bilharzia in Ethiopia. Chosen participants will be invited to a five-day lab where they will have an immersive experience taught by local and international storytelling experts, learn about the problem of bilharzia, and have opportunities to connect with health experts and nonprofit organizations across the world. The lab will facilitate a space to create solutions focused on behavior change and the prevention of bilharzia. All expenses related to participation are covered by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and the winning team will receive 10.000 EUR to actualize their project. Applications are now open!  

Our second Storytelling Lab in Rwanda

The Second Bilharzia Storytelling Lab took place in Kigali, Rwanda from November 28th until December 22nd 2022. The winning solution of the Bilharzia Lab 2022 developed a specially designed school notebook, which features information on schistosomiasis. The aim is to inform both children and parents and ultimately change behaviors to avoid getting the disease.

The Winning team was announced on the last day and has realized their project with 10.000 Euro awarded by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The project was launched in the Bugesera district of Rwanda and has reached around 2500 students in 3 schools with information on how to prevent getting schistosomiasis.

Our first Storytelling Lab in Kenya

Six teams, consisting of 20 Kenyan community leaders and storytellers worked on the challenge and developed innovative tools to raise awareness on bilharzia among risk groups. The three main risk groups as defined by WHO are domestic and agricultural workers and school-aged children. These are the three risk groups that the lab addressed in developing storytelling projects to ignite behavioral change. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Storytelling Lab was rolled-out virtually. The concept of a card game to educate young children through playful learning was selected as the best project and received our support for implementation.