Healthy Habits Make Healthy Bodies- Visit to School Number 2, Buftea, Ilfov County; Nov 29th, 2007

What better way to impact both of our favorite project areas, health and education, than to talk to kids about healthy living! On Thursday, November 29, our very own Executive President, Amaris Koga gave such a talk to over 120 eager schoolchildren and parents.

We’ve recently partnered up with School Number 2 from Buftea, Ilfov County in an attempt to support them in their wonderful ongoing project called ‘I want to be healthy!’ There are other neighboring schools involved as well, totaling over 120 children and parents. They spend time learning about healthy nutrition, exercise, plants, ecology and the environment, taking occasional field trips and inviting speakers to the school. This month the project focused on nutrition, especially on food additives and preservatives. In this context, local teachers and project coordinators Lumi Andrei and Rafila Badea wanted to invite someone with a medical background to talk to the children about healthy and hazardous food choices. Amaris was happy to oblige and arrived in Buftea to a huge conference room full of energetic squirming children and exasperated parents. The age range was very wide: kindergarten to eighth grade.

Amaris presented the human body in a colorful, humorous and easy to understand manner, a fact which delighted the children and caught their interest. She spoke about the major impact food choices have on our short as well as long term health, and covered the main childhood temptations: sweets, sodas, fast food, fats, snack foods, and for the older ones…alcohol. Smoking is still a major public health problem in Romania, and addiction starts at a young age here, so Amaris also spoke about the deadly and direct effects of picking up such a habit. The discussion was interactive and the children were involved not only in answering question and expressing ideas, but also literally…For example, in explaining the effects of fats on circulation, Amaris had volunteers make a large circle representing an artery of the heart, while others huddled inside the blood vessel’s ‘wall’ forming a ‘thrombus’ and thus blocking circulation and resulting in a heart attack.

In attendance were not only our large children/parents audience, but also the vice-mayor of Buftea, the County Red Cross director, a school-nurse and many of the grade teachers. We were happy to be able to participate in this important educational program for our young children and their parents.

For pictures please click here.