EU Healthy Kids promotes positive, healthy habits in Lebanon

26 February 2020
"We are doing a lot of activities with students about the importance of healthy food and personal hygiene and they have been putting it into practice at school and at home,” says the school’s health tutor, Ghada Zaidane.  © 2019 UNRWA Photo

Students, parents and teachers at the UNRWA Deir al-Qasi School in Saida, Lebanon took part in the European Union-supported Healthy Kids campaign.

The campaign kicked off with a meeting between school staff and the school parliament. Together, they discussed their ideas for the Healthy Kids campaign and made a plan. Their aim has been to help students and their families adopt and maintain healthy habits by getting informed, getting motivated and getting active.

 

Getting Informed

© 2019 UNRWA Photo by Ali Zaraket
© 2019 UNRWA Photo by Ali Zaraket

During the campaign, guest speakers and experts were invited to the school to raise awareness on a number of important health issues. A dentist presented to parents on the best way to maintain the oral hygiene of their children. A nutrition specialist led an awareness session on healthy eating.

© 2019 UNRWA Photo
© 2019 UNRWA Photo

Asmaa Yehia Sharif, a mother of two boys are Deir al-Qasi School said, "My sons have been very happy during the campaign and personally I learned a lot of things about healthy food and personal hygiene. At home I am preparing more healthy food now!" 

In the spirit of raising awareness, posters and brochures were distributed amongst students about best practices, personal hygiene, the dangers of smoking and head lice. Together in the classroom with their peers, students also watched videos about how to improve habits for a healthier lifestyle.

 

Getting Motivated

©2019 UNRWA Photo by Ali Zaraket
©2019 UNRWA Photo by Ali Zaraket

When do we brush our teeth?” asks Nasera El Eina, the principal of Deir al-Qasi School in Saida, Lebanon whilst distributing hygiene kits to the class. A room of excited young students shout various responses like “Twice a day!” and “After eating sugary things!”

With the current difficult economic situation in Lebanon, school staff and parents came together to pack and distribute hygiene kits to first, second and third grade students in an effort to motivate children and families to prioritize hygiene, despite the tough situation. The kits included a towel, toothbrush, toothpaste and soap, and students were quizzed on how and when to use them.

© 2019 UNRWA Photo by Ali Zaraket
© 2019 UNRWA Photo by Ali Zaraket

Throughout the Healthy Kids campaign, students and parents learned about the benefits of eating healthy and avoiding junk food. Students received a healthy daily snack, such as boiled wheat and raisins or a piece of fruit and presented to each other in front of the class on the specific benefits of different types of fruits and vegetables. 

© 2019 UNRWA Photo
© 2019 UNRWA Photo

Adam, a grade 5 student who has been taking part in the healthy food activities said, “Now we know more about the importance of homemade food and the risks of junk food."

 

Getting Active

With a boost of energy from their healthy snacks, students got extra active with organized sports activities and games such as football competitions, jump rope, handball, sprinting and more.

This EU-sponsored campaign presents a unique opportunity to educate about health through exciting lectures and activities. Initially implemented in 2019, the EU-UNRWA Healthy Kids campaign will continue to positively impact UNRWA school communities across the five fields of Agency operations throughout 2020.

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