Ajyal Salima is based on research by academics at the American University of Beirut (AUB) on the most effective ways to help children learn about the importance of good nutrition and regular exercise. The non-branded initiative has shown good results, with children under the programme eating twice as much produce than children outside it, according to Nestlé.
‘Practical and effective’
“RHAS considers Ajyal Salima to be a practical and effective educational approach that fits into our priorities and programs in Jordan shedding light on the importance of nutrition and physical activity to our school children,” said Hanin Odeh, director general of RHAS.
“RHAS targets school children through implementing programmes that aim to enhance and develop healthy environments in schools which reflect positively on their physical, social and educational evolution,” she added.
Nestlé has been working with RHAS towards adoption of the programme for some time, and had been running a project to train teachers in Jordan, ahead of the full Ajyal Salima programme. This agreement sees Jordan become the 80th country around the world to sign up for the initiative, allowing Nestlé to sign off on one of its social responsibility targets for 2015.
CSR milestone reached
“We are thrilled that the 80th country milestone for the Nestlé Healthy Kids Program, which was committed by 2015 in our global Nestlé in Society report, has been reached thanks to a new partnership in the Middle East, where Ajyal Salima has been thriving and proving its efficacy over the past five years,” said Karine Antoniades Turk, creating shared values manager at Nestlé Middle East.
“Nestlé is committed to nurturing healthier generations around the world, and to creating shared value for communities through long-term partnerships with local authorities and experts,” she added.
The programme originally developed by AUB in 2010 has been adapted for the needs of Jordanian children, and will initially be rolled out to 10 public schools in Madaba Governorate, reaching around 1,200 children. Ajyal Salima is already being used in Lebanon, in Dubai since 2012, and in Saudi Arabia since 2014.
In other Nestlé news, the firm announced its nine-month results last week, cutting its full-year growth forecast in the wake of the Maggi noodle scandal. In the Middle East, the firm said soluble coffee and confectionery sales growth in several markets compensated for instability in much of the region, while prices for its dairy products fell thanks to lower milk costs.