Astra, the global Unilever Family Goodness brand, has joined with the World Food Program (WFP) to fight malnutrition among school children in Sri Lanka.
Through Astra, Unilever Sri Lanka partnered with WFP to join its ‘Together for Child Vitality’ programme, which is committed to give a better start in life to more than 350 million hungry children in the world. This year, Astra participated for the ‘Walk the World’ initiative of WFP to increase awareness on the issue of malnutrition and extended support to upgrade facilities in beneficiary schools of WFP‟s School Feeding Programme.
While Sri Lanka is not adversely affected by hunger, statistics show many reasons for concern regarding the nourishment of the nation’s children. According to the latest statistics of the Ministry of Health, in Sri Lanka, approximately 21% of school aged children are under weight, whilst 14% suffer from iron deficiency and 15% from Vitamin A deficiency.
In the first phase of this venture, a drinking water facility and a children’s play area were donated to the Kapugollewa Sinhala School and the Nikawewa Muslim School respectively. In keeping with the company mission of ‘Adding Vitality to Life’, Unilever employees extended their support by joining with Astra and the WFP for this corporate social responsibility event.
Speaking at the event, Asanga Ranasinghe, Marketing Director for Home Care and Foods said: “Astra, one of Unilever’s foremost brands has partnered with WFP to promote vitality among growing children in Sri Lanka, to ensure the physical and mental well-being of our future generations. Astra is committed to promoting the holistic growth of the Sri Lankan child” In order to commemorate World Food Day, fruit and vegetable seeds were handed over to the two schools to cultivate their own fruit and vegetable gardens to fulfill their nutrition requirements. Astra also donated a nutritional corner, which consist of nutritional posters, health tips, and height and weight measures, to each school.
According to the World Health Organization, 30% of the calories a child needs should be provided through fats, and therefore the students were provided a well balanced meal, as well as an Astra buddy pack and a non refrigerated fat spread, with the objective of making the daily fats requirement available to every child.