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Most children in the school are first generation learners who attend the school for the sole reason that they get regular food on school working days. The academic success of these children is strongly linked with their health and the quality of diet. Helping them to stay healthy is a fundamental part of the mission of Lovedale . Banyan School Health & Nutrition Program in Bangalore have direct contact with more than 250 families through this children aged 5–14 years. For about 6 hours a day, and for up to 13 critical years of their social, psychological, physical, and intellectual development these children are connected to the services of Banyan Community School and other welfare schemes of Lovedale Foundation. Lovedale envisages in Banyan School Health&Nutrition Program can create a meaningful impact in the growth and development of these children who is otherwise underprivileged or neglected.
The School Health & Nutrition Program in Bangalore is geared at preventing, protecting and improving the health status of the school population including the staff, and to enable them benefit fully from the school system. Under the school health program Banyan is planning to provide a unique opportunity for health education and a means of establishing a firm foundation for the healthy habits of the future adult population of any nation and to reach out to more than 250 families through the children. Lovedale Foundation is planning collaborate and network with like-minded organizations, governmental and nongovernmental, in order to implement the project and address broader issues to mainstream these children and families.
Banyan School Health & Nutrition Program in Bangalore highlights the importance of school health for the achievement of the education Millennium Development Goals and provides the context for developing effective school health programs through inter sectoral partnership of health and education.
Common health problems among the children of Banyan Community School are managed through school-based health screening programs. Periodic health checkups covering preventive services for vision, dental, hemoglobin, de-worming and micronutrient supplementation etc are implemented to improve children’s health and nutritional status and consequently their ability to grow and learn.
The regular monthly health check up, health education and provision for free referral services is a unique position to address common health problems in a prompt and cost-effective manner. This is being implemented in partnership of other institutions and fellow NGOs in the field. Currently, an NGO, Sevamob is extending support for the regular school health program offering a wide range of services including free specialist consultation for the children.
Banyan encourages child participation in the school health program through the platform of school health clubs. Health clubs give the children an opportunity to express their views, influence decision-making and achieve change in their health. All health activities from planning to implementation and evaluation activities are coordinated/ monitored by the club.
Teacher facilitators are given periodic training and orientation. The rationale of children participation in activities is that they also acquire the knowledge, develop the attitudes, values and skills needed to adopt healthy lifestyles and become more active citizens. Child health clubs, suggestion boxes and active teaching methods are the ways of ensuring that the program is being implemented well.