In Côte d'Ivoire, Nestlé continues to promote nutrition education and physical activity as part of its global "Healthy Kids'' initiative.
Following the Ivorian launch which took place in October last year, more than 30 players in the country's educational system including primary education inspectors, education consultants, school principals and teachers were recently trained to facilitate implementation of the "Healthy Kids'' programme in pilot schools.
Teaching kits were distributed in the 5 pilot schools: EPP Amélékia 2 (Abengourou), GS South Cocody (Abidjan), EPP Mahounou (Daloa), the EPP-Marory Driver (Abidjan) and EPP-Téhiri Davo (Gagnoa).
Friday, 30 January 2015 marked the kickoff of the classes and now each of the targeted schools will provide CM1 students with one "Healthy Kids'' lesson a week, every Friday. At Amélékia, TANOH Ayue, a young 11 years old student shares his experience after her first 'Healthy Kids' lesson: “First, the teacher told us the story of two children from the village who were talking about everything they eat. She then asked us about the meaning of certain words such as “nutrition” and “food”. My friends and I identified and grouped different types of food displayed on our table (fruits, vegetables, tubers, eggs, milk, smoked fish and meat pieces ...). Those grown on the farm are called plant foods and those produced by animals are called animal foods. If we eat these two major food groups correctly we will be healthy and have good nutrition," explained Ayue.
The 'Healthy Kids’ programme is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MSLS) and the Ministry of Education and Technical Education (MENET). It supports the government's strategy: « School: an ally of Nutrition » initiated by the MSLS.
Its aim is to enable school-aged children to have a healthy life, while giving them the opportunity to adopt, good nutrition habits and to understand the importance of exercising.
More than 300 students received a complete kit (manual, notebook, shirt, water bottle, jump rope and binder) for their participation in the pilot program.
Mr Tanoh, a representative of DRENET Abengourou, felt that, "Healthy Kids'' lessons will contribute to the students awakening to the importance of better food and physical activity for their health. The teaching method that immerses children in their everyday environments will also help students to better appropriate the resolutions they make during the lessons. "
At the end of the first year, the program will be evaluated by Nestlé, both ministries and the participating schools and communities. This will enable the identification of the programme’s strong points, areas in need of enhancement, while also verifying the relevance of the topics tackled during the pilot phase. This assessment will lead to the development of an enriched action plan that will serve as the basis for the scaling up of the program within the country.
Today, ″Nestlé Healthy Kids″ is implemented in 68 countries, with the support of 280 partners. In 2013, 6.9 million children benefitted from the programme. The aim for 2015 is to cover 80 countries.