JERUSALEM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Education (MoE) and implementing partner Juzoor, have concluded the first nutritional health-focused summer activity for around 80 schoolgirls in two schools in the West Bank and in Gaza.
The “Nutrition Ambassadors” pilot is part of WFP’s Social Behaviour Communications Change (SBCC) initiative, which aims to prevent high rates of anaemia and support healthy eating in the West Bank and Gaza through awareness raising, advocacy, and community engagement.
WFP and MoE are introducing this school program to help address high rates of anaemia, which are exacerbated by poor eating habits and currently affect 20 percent of Palestinian school-aged children. The summer camp includes nutritional education activities and involves climate-smart agriculture school gardens, which aim to encourage healthy eating habits among the younger generation and educate them on environment-friendly practices.
A team of professionals came together to support and implement activities using ‘edutainment strategies’ that inspire young people to apply and advocate nutrition, health, mental health and climate-friendly practices in their homes, schools and community.
Participating schoolgirls engage in nutrition-focused group discussions, cooking sessions, practical gardening sessions, arts and crafts lessons, sports and exercise classes to personal hygiene sessions.
“Adolescent girls and boys are ambassadors of change and investing in them is an investment in the future they will shape and lead,” says WFP Representative and Country Director in Palestine Samer Abdeljaber. “We are very pleased to launch and implement the first specialized Nutrition Summer Camp in Palestine under the leadership of the Ministry of Education. WFP will continue to work with the ministry and other stakeholders to expand this intervention in other schools and localities in the West Bank and Gaza.”
While food assistance can save lives in an emergency, the right nutritional knowledge can change lives and break the cycle of food insecurity. The SBCC approach incorporates interpersonal communication, social change, advocacy, and community engagement to help communities embrace high-impact nutrition practices.
WFP provides food assistance for 371,293 people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip through direct food distributions and cash-based transfers. In addition, WFP also supports long-term resilience through vocational training, skills-focused employment opportunities, and home-based agricultural assets to improve the food security and nutritional needs of the most vulnerable and impacted Palestinian households. WFP also works with partners, donors, and local institutions to provide technical support to enhance their capacity and preparedness.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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