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Healthy Kids, Healthy Nation – A look at Nestlé Healthy Kids commitment to care

Nestle Healthy Kids Program 1

Nestlé Healthy Kids Program is focused on Healthy Kids, Healthy Nation!

If there’s one thing that makes a brand really attractive, besides its quality products, it is the brand’s sense of social responsibility and commitment to giving back to society. I was thrilled to hear about Nestlé’s Healthy Kids Program that has been active for over a decade now.

Did you know?

According to the latest research (pdf, 7Mb), 49 million children under the age of 5 are wasted (low weight for height), and almost 17 million are severely wasted. There are also 149 million children who are stunted (a low height for age) and 40 million who are overweight or obese. To help us overcome this global challenge, it’s important for children to follow a healthy diet from a young age.

With India having over a third of the world’s malnourished children, the Nestlé Healthy Kids Program is a relevant program, that is aimed at educating adolescents (10 to 17 years) on subjects, health and nutrition. The program focuses strongly on the following:

  • Creating and raising awareness about good nutrition practices, healthy eating habits and following a balanced diet
  • A unique initiative called Sports for Development (S4D) which involves the intentional use of sports as a metaphor to derive developmental outcomes.
  • Promoting physically active lifestyle among school going children
  • Waste management

Despite the ongoing pandemic, commendable efforts have been made to keep the program running with the help of digital media.

About Nestlé’s Healthy Kids Program

Nestlé’s Healthy Kids Programme was launched in 2009, with an aim to impart nutrition and health knowledge and promote physical activity among adolescents. Having the same objective and with a view to scale up the program, Nestlé partnered with Magic Bus India Foundation in 2014.

S4D – an innovative approach

The Nestle Healthy Kids Program uses an innovative approach – Sport for Development (S4D) that makes learning fun for children. During the S4D sessions, an hour is devoted to community programs and about 45 minutes to focusing on the development of physical and socio-emotional skills.

Regular meetings are held with teachers, health workers and community leaders to share information related to health and nutrition. The vision is to develop skills of self-efficacy and resilience among children so they independently and permanently break the cycle of poverty.

Magic Bus has a customized, inclusive approach for different age groups. I had an opportunity to interact with the team members and understand how they carried out their duties amidst this pandemic.

With a long list of restrictions, how did the teams manage?

Nestlé’s sessions on nutrition, health and hygiene conducted as a part of the Healthy Kids Program was carried out using digital media (WhatsApp, tele calling) in containment and red zones. While face to face, interactive sessions were held in all the places where lockdown was lifted.

By using digital media and virtual training, Magic Bus uploaded all healthy kids modules in addition to the awareness around COVID 19 on Magic Bus Academy, a mobile application to educate staff, eliminating the need for physical training.

Videos, posters and comic books were also uploaded to spread vital information on how to stay safe. Several staff members have undergone the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangatan training on the prevention of coronavirus.

Generating awareness to prevent community outbreak

Social media messages, WhatsApp forwards and phone calls are used to create awareness among community members. The ‘Each 1 Teach 10’ campaign, where one person records a video of proper handwashing technique and forwards it to 10 people and these 10 send it to the others, ensuring vital information is spread.

Video calls, reminder messages and pledge campaigns are carried out continuously. The ground teams develop IEC (Information Communication Education) materials such as comic books, posters, awareness boards.

Additional measures taken for the prevention of community outbreak

  • Encouraging children to stay at home and learn at home. Assignments on various health, nutrition and waste management topics are given to keep them engaged.
  • Demonstrating the installation process and providing training on how to use the Arogya Setu app. Further, the teams have helped in enabling online application of ration cards.
  • The volunteers have provided information on immunity boosting foods through phone calls and by sending WhatsApp messages.
  • Door to door hand washing and sanitization campaigns were conducted by the teams, while following community mapping.
  • Hallmark days were celebrated virtually.

The efforts taken for the implementation of this campaign, with the ongoing crisis, is highly appreciated. The commitment and passion with which the teams work are truly commendable! The joint efforts of Nestlé and Magic Bus in making this world a better place will never be forgotten.

Let me show you some photos of the activities that are being carried out.

Enjoy!

This young man has tips to protect yourself from coronavirus in the local language to reach out to more people.

Nestle Healthy Kids Program (1)

A demonstration for how to wash your hands

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Food – cooking and distribution

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Volunteers on the job

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Making masks – need of the hour

Nestle Healthy Kids Program (8)

Nestle Healthy Kids Program

Stay home, stay safe!

Nestle Healthy Kids Program (2)

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