Ogilvy: Roto Tanks’ Lesso Lesson

Kenyan parents with their babies in lessos

Ogilvy: Roto Tanks’ Lesso Lesson

Using tradition to bring about positive change

In Kenya, more than a quarter of children under five years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition. Young mothers living in media-dark regions, with little access to smartphones and high-speed internet, may be unaware of the importance of proper breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices that are crucial in the first 24 months of their child’s development.

These women often work long hours while carrying their babies on their backs in slings, made of distinct, vividly patterned cloth called lessos. Traditionally, lessos are adorned with words of hope and love. They are often passed down to convey tribal stories and wisdom over many generations.

Ogilvy decided to turn these lessos into lessons in postnatal nutritional care. As the first 24 months are pivotal in a child’s nutrition and development, the agency created three different Lesso Lessons. They contain illustrative and instructive lessons on proper breastfeeding and complementary feeding that serve as a daily guide and reminder on raising a healthy child.

Babies in lessos

Along with input from healthcare professionals and the Ministry of Health, Ogilvy adapted over one million data points from some of the most recent studies on postnatal nutrition during the design process.

The designs drew influence from traditional prints, staying true to the traditional beauty of a lesso but transforming it into a desirable and functional garment that will hopefully continue to teach generations to come.

Roto Tanks, with their vast, deep-reaching logistics and delivery capabilities, distributed the lessos during health awareness drives conducted by healthcare professionals.

Women were introduced to each Lesso Lesson, before receiving their free lessos. The initiative was then scaled up to reach and educate mothers in media dark areas across East Africa.

Bright lessos on black background