By Kristen Johnson
UNICEF has an absolutely marvelous program that combines children living in poverty, kids helping kids, and encouraging children to exercise. I can’t say enough good about this program and I can’t wait to personally support it.
RUTF (Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food) is a fabulous”miracle food” packet that include peanuts, oil, sugar, vitamins and minerals, etc. that UNICEF provides to children suffering from SAM (Severe Acute Malnutrition). These incredible packets do not require any water to use (which is a miracle for those living without access to clean water), requires no refrigeration, and the packets last for 2 years. Without these lifesaving food packets, millions of children will continue to suffer from SAM. Unfortunately, as is the case with all non-profit agencies, there simply isn’t enough funding and UNICEF was only able to provide packets for 19% of the children who needed them in 2014.(UnicefUSA.org)
Here is where the UNICEF Kid Power Band comes in. Families can purchase the bands online or in a local Target store for their kids to wear. It measures steps and movement (similar to a FitBit, or phone apps like RunKeeper). The user (child participant) syncs the band with the UNICEF Kid Power App to earn points for children in need. What’s extra nifty about this program is that it comes with a curriculum for teachers, providing multicultural games, worksheets, and an Android App for teachers to monitor progress. The more steps kids get, the more packets they can provide for children in need!
This program is an incredible win-win for every child. It encourages physical activity by children in First World countries (where it is sorely needed) while encouraging children to help those living in poverty in places like Sub-Saharan Africa and and South Asia where the food packets are most needed.
As an elementary school teacher, I am beyond impressed with this program. I am hoping to encourage my teacher-friends to push for this program in their elementary and middle schools.
To order a band for your child or your students, click here: http://unicefkidpower.org/?_ga=1.11669175.284350620.1482771547#.WHQAjrGZNE4.
For additional information on this incredible project, see here: https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/get-active-save-lives-unicef-kid-power/30369#RUTF.
Thank you to UNICEF for providing such a fabulous program and for providing a way for children to help other children. These programs are sorely needed both in the U.S. and abroad. I commend you on establishing such a wonderful program and I will continue to personally support it financially and via word-of-mouth.
Matthew 19:14 (NRSV): but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
Serve all with love.
Photo courtesy of: stocksnap.io