‘Nestlé Equips Over 3.7m Children for the Future Annually’

In commemoration of the 2024 Children’s Day, Nestlé Nigeria has restated its commitment to fostering the well-being of children and equipping them for the future. Through initiatives aimed at promoting healthy nutrition, STEM education, and grassroots sports, the company says it reached over 3.7 million children in 2023, demonstrating its dedication to preparing them for a brighter future.

It said the initiatives are in alignment with Nestlé’s commitment to enhancing quality of life for people of all ages. “By empowering children with the values, tools and skills to make the right decisions, Nestlé is contributing to nurturing future leaders that will transform the nation.”

According to Victoria Uwadoka, the Corporate Communications, Public Affairs, and Sustainability Lead at Nestlé Nigeria, “childhood is a critical period for forming life-long habits that could determine quality of life in the future. Therefore, teaching children to eat right, stay active, pursue their dreams, set and achieve goals is one of the ways through which we are nurturing the next generation of leaders.

“We achieve this through Nestlé MILO Building Champs, Nestlé MILO Basketball Championship, Nestlé for Healthier Kids and the Nestlé Community Scholarships. This year, we are extending these programmes to more schools and communities, to reach even more children.”

Through the community scholarships, she said that Nestlé is promoting STEM education to give children within its communities the opportunity to access technical capabilities and skills to contribute to the industrialisation of the country. “This is one of Nestlé’s creating shared value initiatives: creating value for society while delivering business growth: the children are equipped for the future, and Nestlé gains an increased pipeline of future talents.”

Recognizing the persistent issue of child and adolescent malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, which leads to negative effects such as poor learning outcomes, increased illness and mortality rates, and hindered growth and development among school-aged children in Nigeria, according to findings from the 2019 Kids Nutrition and Health Study: Nutrient Intake in Children 4-13 Years Old in Ibadan, Nigeria – PubMed (nih.gov), “the Good Food, Good Life company takes measures aimed at improving the health indices among school age children in Nigeria. These measures include the fortification of its products, providing nutrition education, and implementing programmes that encourage a more active lifestyle.”

Food Sources of Key Nutrients, Meal and Dietary Patterns among Children Aged 4-13 Years in Ibadan, Nigeria: Findings from the 2019 Kids Nutrition and Health Study 80 per cent of Nestlé’s products produced and sold in Nigeria are fortified with essential nutrients and vitamins such as iron, zinc, and calcium to provide the necessary micronutrients to support adequate nutrition for well-being. 

The company said its focus on prioritizing optimal childhood nutrition reflects its dedication to supporting children and families worldwide. 

In 2023 alone, it said 3.5 million children were encouraged to embrace physical activity through MILO Building Champs, formerly known as MILO School Sports Development Programme, an initiative, that has spanned 25 years. Also in 2023, over 200,000 young athletes participated in the MILO Basketball Championship, a cornerstone of basketball development in Nigeria for 25 years also. “These programmes not only teach children the joy of physical activity but also instil social skills essential for a successful future as well as values like tenacity and teamwork. Many players nurtured through the basketball championship now compete internationally, living their dreams.”

The company added that annually, Nestlé for Healthier Kids (N4HK) equips more than 8,000 children and their parents to choose healthier, more nutritious food options, adopt active lifestyles, observe better hygiene practices, and learn to care for the planet to ensure a good life for them in the future.

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