Easy health education

Health is not something nice to have, it is mandatory for the development of a balanced life & society. Is nutrition linked to this and how?

Photo of Iulia Manole
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Written by

I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Asociatia B!tonic pentru Corectarea Nutritiei

Year founded

2016

Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 1,000 - 5,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water

Headquarters location: Country

  • Romania

Headquarters location: City

Bucharest

Location(s) of impact

Romania: Bucharest

Website

http://www.abcnutritiei.ro

Facebook URL

https://www.facebook.com/ABCNutritiei/

Twitter URL

NA

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

WHO statistics show very concerning ascending trends in health diseases caused by poor nutrition like obesity, diabetics, cancers and cardio diseases. In Romania 1 in 4 kids is already affected by nutritional diseases, while 82% of the total diseases are preventable.
Yet, there is no public awareness about the interdependence between the population health situation and eating habits. Health, especially nutrition related topics are not integrated into any formal education curriculum in Romania.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

In `16/`17 school year we`ve implemented the educational program The Nutrition Class, consisting in theoretical, practical, pragmatic and reflexive learning for pupils aged 10-14. Although the impact was relevant and significant, we realized that deep change relies in attitudes and behaviors which can only be cultivated if they are practiced both at school and home.
For `17/`18 we refined our curricula based on feedback and designed an improved nutrition triangle educational experience - working with children, parents and teachers altogether.
We realized that is the teachers who reach the most students and act as a role model. They are the real grassroots change makers, if they have the proper knowledge and tools.
We therefore intend to create an educational experience tool kit for the use of teachers, compiled by an experts group. The key innovative elements rely on easy language and nutrition references easy to use in every subject in the public curricula that is taught.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

A team of 10 volunteer trainers have reached to the present 1200 children aged 10-14 and only 30 teachers from 8 schools. Among them, 75% have significantly improved their nutrition knowledge and 50% have adopted new and healthy eating habits.
But most valuable for us are the parents` and teachers’ testimonials, thanking us for convincing their children eat fruits and veggies. (eat more healthy)
Truth is we did not persuade them into changing their attitude. Instead, we took complex information and translated it into easy and practical learning with simplified information, through non-formal and experiential learning tools.
As a result, children understood and self decided for their meals and snacks. However, for a long-term impact and for scalability this should be a continuous learning process, with nutritional info easy to be found in day to day learning activities.
As to environmental impact, the program raises awareness over the issues of food waste and waste management.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

The basic administrative and staff costs are currently covered through monthly donations from a European health company, aprx.60% from our annual budget. Almost 30% from our revenues are earned through designing and developing educational health programs for corporate employees and 10% comes from small grants.
For long-term financial sustainability we intend to increase the revenues from corporate activities and also the revenues from grants. The basic costs will increase nominal as well, but as percentage we will try to decrease them. Moreover, we intend to gather around our initiative more long-term sponsors.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Our super power is the ability of translating very complex and complicated health and nutrition information into simple and easy to understand and to follow lifestyle principles.
With this skill we propose to compile a set of nutrition learning tools for teachers, in order to export this super-power and to scale the positive impact on many more students and families.
Our concept is designed with the contribution of nutrition experts from Vienna&Bucharest, psychologists and education experts.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

It happened during the beginning of our first class about “fats” last year, when the tutor teacher to a 5th grade yelled at a overweight student, in the front of the class, telling her she would better pay great attention to this class in particular, so that she might be able to loose some of those “fat bellies” she drags along with her. The whole class laughed and the bullied child reacted only by staring paralyzed at the floor. Similar moments unfortunately repeated in other classes and we saw their effect over the pupils – shame and disengagement. Fortunately, as a contrast, we were also exposed to a few cases in which the tutor teacher was genuinely interested and supportive with the students; immediate results – change of eating habits and raised awareness throughout the class community. Moments like these speak about the huge impact the teacher has, as a role model and influencer.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Social media

1 comment

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Comment
Photo of Hicham MESKHER

It sounds great @lulia Manole. I really like it and believe me try to add a strategy of awareness about the environment and its issues to this scale of age (10-14) and you will be one of the best NGOs.
Please evaluate my idea: Organic waste collection, treatment and transformation.
BEST OF LUCK