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A range of communication materials and learning aids on healthy living and care-seeking behaviours were launched in Dili, Timor-Leste.
Special guest of the event Mrs. Cidália Lopez Nobre Mouzinho Guterres, the first lady of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste jointly launched these materials in the presence of the EU Ambassador Alexandre Leitão and Valerie Taton, UNICEF Representative.
Proper grooming and healthy personal habits can help reduce illness and protect students from infectious diseases. It’s evident that hand washing with soap before eating and after using the toilet could save lives. Learning personal hygiene and care-seeking behaviours are important for adolescents as they continue the practice in adulthood and encourage others.
Children and adolescent boys and girls were consulted to develop a broad range of colourful storybooks, comic books, activity books, board games and card games on various health, nutrition and hygiene practices. All these materials are culturally sensitive and age appropriate. Under this initiative, a total of 8000 sets of materials were produced and will be distributed to the school libraries across Timor-Leste through the Ministry of Education and Sports.
"The European Union's support to Timor-Leste has come a long way over the last decade. Recently, the EU signed with the Government two financing agreements for a total amount of 18 million euros. Of this amount, 15 million euros will be dedicated to the PINTL Programme (Partnership to Improve Nutrition in Timor-Leste) which will support actions aimed at reducing the incidence of malnutrition. These materials will equip adolescents with appropriate messages so that they could take an informed decision for their own health and well-being, and work as a change agent in their communities said Alexander Leitão, Ambassador of the European Union to Timor-Leste.
As part of the initiative, more than 1,500 (one teacher per school) teachers engaged in School Health Programmes across 13 municipalities will receive training on how to use these materials by engaging students. All materials are accompanied by teacher’s guidelines to facilitate sessions with students.
This initiative is part of the joint MOH-EU-UNICEF project “Partnership for Improving Nutrition in Timor Leste” in continuation of the previous partnership programme on nutrition.
Under this initiative, students from 16 schools participated in a quiz competition programme on nutrition and health issues. The best team received an award for their performance from the dignitaries.