Palestine has become the fifth in the region to roll out the “Nestlé Ajyal Salima” nutrition education program, a part of the global Nestlé Healthy Kids Program that is now in 84 countries.
“We signed a three-year memorandum with Nestlé Middle East to implement Nestlé Ajyal Salima in Palestine, as the Program falls in line with our 2015-2019 five-year plan to improve the quality of teaching and learning, as well as students’ nutritional and general health,” said Dr. Mohammad Rimawi, Director General of School Health at the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
The Program’s introduction in Palestine began with “Train the Trainers” workshops, designed and delivered by American University of Beirut experts to equip Field Supervisors from the Ministry’s School Health department to train teachers to run it successfully in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.
Roll out will initially cover 12 public schools over one academic year in the Northern, Central and Southern West Bank, reaching over 1,500 students.
The move comes as the Program continues its steady expansion in Lebanon where it was first launched in 2010, was adopted by the Ministry of Education in its school health unit curriculum in 2014, and is now in 225 schools nationwide; and Jordan, where it’s being introduced to 30 new schools, for a total of 40 there since it was launched in the country last year in collaboration with the Royal Health Awareness Society. It’s also ongoing in Dubai in collaboration with the Dubai Educational Zone, where it was introduced in 2012, and completed a pilot run in Saudi Arabia in 2014 – so far reaching over 40,000 kids in the Middle East.
“Nestlé Ajyal Salima’s launch in Palestine aims to promote healthy eating and physical activity among 9-11 year-old school children there, at an age when they are old enough to grasp its principles and decide to incorporate healthier behaviors into their lives early on,” said Karine Antoniades Turk, Creating Shared Value Manager at Nestlé Middle East. “Nestlé is committed to Promoting Healthy Diets and Lifestyles, and it’s always a great pleasure to see how teachers and students across the region engage with Ajyal Salima and adapt its learnings to fit into their lives.”
The Program is backed by evidence-based results showing enrolled children eat fruits and vegetables twice more frequently and their general nutrition awareness increases significantly following its interventions.*
Developed by AUB and built on a behavioral-based educational methodology, Ajyal Salima is designed to enable teachers to integrate its sessions into different classroom subjects, such as science, math, art, language, and more.
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