Last week at the Half Day School, the all students and teachers came together and harvested our organic rice crop.
This harvest activity is providing children with access to nutritious, high quality local foods at the same time enriching their connection to local cultures by learning traditional farming techniques. Also, children had been learning about the rice plant and its growing cycle, the advantages of following a simple nutritious diet as well as working on art projects to gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty of the plant. Next year we are hoping for a better harvest.
This very important day was first recognized in 1948 and held by the World Health Organization. It symbolizes the first world health assembly and is held to mark the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is a day where attention should be drawn to a subject of major importance, global health. International, Regional and even Local events are organized by WHO for the big day usually related to a particular theme. Each year differs with specific themes that have made headlines in the year gone past. 2015’s theme is dedicated towards ‘food safety’. The WHO is working with countries and partner organizations to prevent, detect and respond to foodborne disease. The day also focuses on food safety along the whole food chain, from transportation to preparation to consumption. This is due to the way in which the processes within the food chain have changed drastically in the past 50 years.
Here are some facts about food safety that help to explain its importance:
- More than 200 diseases are spread through food.
- On average 1.5 million children die a year due to illness’ from contaminated food and water
- Food contamination affects an economy and society as a whole.
- Everybody has a role to play in keeping food safe.
DEPDC has tried to exercise the importance of health as well as food safety in various parts of our program. Our Lunch program provides students with knowledge about what is healthy and what is not, as well as providing a healthy nutritious meal that is sometimes the only wholesome food these students get a day. All vegetarian do not forget!
The Half day School in Mae Sai welcomes a member of medical staff once a year, for a routine check up on all the students making sure that they are all in good health. They provide standard vaccinations and inoculations such as polio among others. There is also the policy that if a child at DEPDC has come ill and their parents cannot afford the healthcare needed, DEPDC will bring them to the hospital. Students are regularly given personal hygiene classes in all 3 of our centers. We also provide sexual health classes in our child rights protection center in Chiang Khong. Exercise is strongly promoted in our centers as exercise is key maintaining good health. With space to play and an Olympic size swimming pool in our Mae Chan center it is embedded within our mission.
The world health day, which occurs every year, is aimed at increasing awareness about global health problems and the importance of health in our societies. There is a lot of room for progress in terms of health worldwide, so do not be shy and pick the healthy option!