A child is truly a gift from the divine. Each child is a miraculous bud that deserves to blossom into a fragrant flower. Every child irrespective of their social situation is entitled to basic rights.
Any country cannot aim to attain economic and social development goals without addressing the issue of malnutrition.
India is home to 46.6 million stunted children, a third of world’s total as per Global Nutrition Report 2018. Nearly half of all under-5 child mortality in India is attributable to undernutrition.
Providing food to meet the minimum nutritional need is one solution. However, to address this issue from a broader spectrum, education must be used to raise awareness about the need for and the importance of good nutrition and physical activity.
Nestlé’s Healthy Kids Programme was started in 2009 with an intent to create awareness and provide education on nutrition and health among adolescents (10 to 17 years). In the year 2014, Nestlé joined hands with the Magic Bus Foundation with the same objective to make a difference in our society. The program follows the ‘Sports for Development’ (S4D) approach, which is the intentional use of sports as a metaphor to derive developmental outcomes.
Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme – Committed to Care
The ongoing pandemic and the nationwide lockdown has had a dire effect on all of us. These unprecedented times have also left the majority of the population feeling like they have been hung out to dry.
Realising that the need of the hour was to raise awareness about prevention of COVID-19, Nestle Healthy Kids Programme modified their work and activities to create awareness on breaking the chain, flattening the curve and reducing collateral damage on the destitute.
Magic Bus takes the virtual route
Previously, contact base interactions have been a key component of the Nestle Healthy Kids Programme. Given the pandemic situation, they have embraced virtual training method, consequently eliminating the need for physical training.
They trained their staff and volunteers by uploading healthy kids modules in addition to awareness on prevention of Covid 19 on Magic Bus Academy, a mobile application. Posters, comic books and videos were also uploaded to spread vital information on the deadly virus. Several staff members have also undergone the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan training on the subject of Corona prevention.
The sessions conducted by Nestlé were held virtually using digital media in all the containment zones. Apart from virtual sessions, important messages and reminders were sent out using WhatsApp and also through tele calling. In places where lockdown was lifted, interactive face to face sessions were held.
Spreading Awareness Virtually
Knowledge on prevention of disease was then disseminated to adolescents and their families through online mediums.
The team at Nestle Healthy Kids Programme created e-posters, comics, and awareness boards and made them available for adolescents in the communities.
Tele-calls and virtual sessions were conducted in order to encourage children to stay indoors.
Students were also assigned activities and projects on various health, nutrition, and waste management topics thus motivating them to study at home.
Each 1 Teach 10 Campaign
Each 1 teach 10 campaign by Nestle Healthy Kids Programme was the one thing that stood out for me! In the wake of spreading awareness, every member from the team makes an informative video, message and poster. These delegates further share it with 10 people. Each of those 10 would then share it with another 10 and so on.
Volunteers and workers have been selflessly doing on ground work to ensure that support is provided to the community during these hard times. The communities have been told about the importance to practice social distancing. In addition to this, markings are drawn to ensure that norms are followed.
Further, door to door hand washing and sanitisation campaigns are being conducted. The staff, CYL and SHG members have engaged in preparation and the distribution of masks. The volunteers have been facilitating food distribution through public distribution system, local community distributions and community kitchens
The entire team of the Nestle Healthy Kids Programme deserves applause for their active and commendable contribution. Each of us must take inspiration from how the team at Nestle has gone the extra mile in doing their bit.