Nestlé Healthy Kids Program – Ajyal Salima Honored by Princess Haya Initiative for the Development of Health, Physical Education and School Sports for Nutritional Awareness Partnership Spanning Dubai Public Schools
Dubai, 13 March 2013: In recognition of collaboration to enhance nutritional awareness of public school children across the Emirate, the Nestlé Healthy Kids Program – Ajyal Salima was among select partners and organizations honored in Dubai by the Princess Haya Initiative for the Development of Health, Physical Education and School Sports.
Honorees included other private sector partners, as well as the Ministry of Education, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the Dubai Health Authority, the Dubai Police, UNICEF, and Dubai sports authorities.
Launched in 2006 by International Olympic Committee member, UN Messenger of Peace, International Equestrian Federation President, and former Olympic athlete HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein – the wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Dubai – the Initiative is now established in all Dubai public schools where it strives to encourage children of all ages to participate in sports and adopt healthy lifestyles.
In September 2012, the Initiative and the Dubai Education Zone began implementing the Ajyal Salima Program in partnership with the Dubai Health Authority and Nestlé, gradually incorporating nutritional awareness sessions in classrooms to enhance eating habits among 9-11 year-old students and their families.
“We are very proud of the evolution of the Nestlé Healthy Kids Program – Ajyal Salima in the region, and particularly honored by this accolade from HRH Princess Haya’s Initiative which has been instrumental in fostering the health of children in Dubai,” said Nestlé Middle East Chairman & CEO Yves Manghardt.
Nestlé Ajyal Salima is part of the Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Program launched in 2009 with the objective of raising nutrition, health and wellness awareness as well as promoting physical activity among school-age children around the world. Nestlé Healthy Kids programs reached more than 5.4 million children through 68 programs in 64 countries at the end of 2012, and are expected to reach 80 countries by 2015.
The UAE is the second country in the Middle East to roll out Nestlé Ajyal Salima, after Lebanon where it was developed by the American University of Beirut (AUB) in October 2010 based on local and regional nutritional needs, with results in Lebanon showing significant enhancement in participating children’s understanding and adoption of healthy eating and lifestyle habits.
The Program was also deemed a preliminary success in Dubai after the first field visit by organizers recently found 4th graders to be enthusiastic, creative and eager to share what they learn with their families – promising healthy changes among the general public’s eating habits.
The first “train the trainer” workshop in the Emirate was held in January 2013, bringing AUB experts to present the various elements of the curriculum to teachers from local schools. Its first phase, covering 10 schools, is slated for completion in June 2013 after which it will continue expanding over all Dubai public schools, and include roadshows, health carnivals, teachers training, classroom implementation and assessment of children knowledge and behavior.
The Nestlé Healthy Kids Program – Ajyal Salima involves 12 educational sessions per round, including interactive learning and hands-on activities on nutrition, healthy eating and physical activity; as well as questionnaires developed to track improvement of children from pre to post interventions.