Managing Director of Mondelez North Africa Bilal Sharabati
CAIRO – 30 July 2019: Mondelez Egypt Foods launched on Monday “Our Children’s Healthy Habits” aimed at spreading awareness on the best healthy nutrition practices among children and parents in Upper Egypt in partnership with CARE International.
The project is worth more than LE8 million and takes place in Minya and Sohag governorates. The initiative is part of Mondelez’s CSR activities and contributions to sustainable development and positive impact on the society. Mondelez Egypt Foods has been supporting development projects in Upper Egypt for 5 years as the start was with “Wheat of Our Children” project.
Managing Director of Mondelez North Africa Bilal Sharabati stressed the company’s “belief in the importance of cooperation between the private sector, the public sector, and civil society organizations to develop the communities in which we operate and live.”
The initiative has three main goals: promotion of nutrition education and healthy habits among children and parents, encouraging physical activity- particularly among girls- and improving access to fresh food. The last goal is planned to be achieved by teaching children and parents how to cultivate fruits and vegetables at home or at school using simple methods and techniques.
The target of the first phase is to reach 1,500 children aged between 6 and 12, 1,500 housewives, and 6,500 to 10,000 individuals in their surroundings in both governorates. A number of school children and community leaders in rural areas will be trained to deliver guidance and advice on healthy nutrition habits ensuring continuity and sustainability. That phase extends between April 2018 and October 2020.
“That is in addition to the formation of teams and sports camps for children in schools and teaching them how to grow some vegetables and fruits at home or at school, which will have a great impact on building a generation that is healthy and well informed about the benefits of good nutrition habits and physical activity,” Chairman of CARE Egypt Hazem Fahmy highlighted.
Chairman of CARE Egypt Hazem Fahmy
Furthermore, healthy cooking classes will be held at schools in collaboration with NGOs so that kitchens of five schools are equipped for that purpose. The project also includes an initiative called “Wash” to promote hygiene practices while preparing food. Another initiative dubbed “Active Play” will organize summer sports camps, and the beginning is in Sohag.
“We first started a pilot phase in 2017 to ensure optimum results. The outcomes were very positive,” Mondelez Egypt Foods Corporate and Government Relations Manager Amira Farag said.
The pilot phase has resulted in the training of 33 rural leaders, and 16 household teachers in five governorates, and in building the awareness of around 1,628 women by holding sessions in the capital of each governorate on ways to combat obesity. Another outcome of the pilot phase is developing the awareness of 75 students in Minya on how to assimilate basic nutrition information and ways to combat obesity among children.
Farag explained that the project takes place within Mondelez Impact 2025 vision to positively influence the society. She added that Minya and Sohag have been chosen as they are the top governorates having an obesity issue among mothers and children. It was noted by the team that male children who do not play football in the gymnastics class do not play sports at all, and that almost all female children do not play sports so they decided to focus on them.
Mondelez Egypt Foods Corporate and Government Relations Manager Amira Farag
“Our Children’s Healthy Habits” comes in line with the nationwide campaign conducted by the Ministry of Health and Population for the early detection of obesity, anemia, and stunting among children.
As indicated by the latest statistics released by the ministry, obesity rates reached 50 percent among men, and 70 percent among women. A medical census run among 9 million children showed signs of anemia and obesity caused by malnutrition and unawareness of healthy lifestyles.
“Mondelez Foundation invests nearly $50 million in projects aimed at improving children’s healthy eating habits in 18 countries around the world. These projects have been able to enhance the eating habits of more than 1.5 million children in five different continents. That was the main stimulant that encouraged us to start implementing this project in Egypt and become part of this momentum,” Farag stated.
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“We are delighted to continue to partner with Mondelez Egypt Foods, especially in light of the great success we have achieved together over the past 5 years by working on ‘Our Children’s Wheat’ project. We are looking forward to continue on the same path with our new project, ‘Our Children’s Healthy Habits’ and achieve the same successful results,” CARE Egypt’s chairman said.
The managing director of Mondelez North Africa and Mashreq clarified that the company, founded 150 years ago, has been operating in Egypt for 44 years. Mondelez Egypt Foods runs three factories in Egypt. Each is specialized in chocolate, biscuits, and gum and candy, respectively. The first two are in the 10th of Ramadan industrial city, while the third is in Alexandria’s Borg al-Arab city. Forty-five percent of those factories’ production is exported to more than 24 countries around the globe.
On the other hand, Fahmy highlights that CARE, which has been established more than 70 years ago and operating in 80 countries, has been present in Egypt since 1954. He revealed that the organization helped 80 million people in 2016/2017. Fahmy underlined that CARE Egypt has three main programs. One is on women’s rights including economic empowerment, and anti-violence initiatives; another is on agriculture and aims to empower small farmers in Upper Egypt and better connect them to the market. The last is on education.
Credit: Egypt Today