Nestlé’s partnership with Magic Bus is based on the shared vision that well-nourished children are more capable learners, grow into healthier adults and are able to give their own children a better start to life. In the communities that Magic Bus works in, there is a lack of awareness of the significant influence nutrition has on children’s physical and cognitive development. Children attending Magic Bus sessions come from some of the most disadvantaged communities, where meeting basic food requirements is a daily struggle. They are vulnerable to malnutrition and all its consequences. Nestlé, in partnership with Magic Bus, is implementing the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme to educate children on the importance of health and nutrition.
In 2015, Magic Bus was working with 50,000 school children in Mumbai, Delhi, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Chennai under the Nestlé Healthy Kids initiative.
In 2016, this programme was scaled up to reach 75,000 children in three additional cities –Mysore, Guwahati, and Kolkata. In 2017, the partnership was once again expanded, this time to support 1,44,000 children across 18 states in India. In 2018, Nestle Healthy Kids programme supported 1,40,000 children across 19 states and 28 locations. In 2019, we will have reached 210,000 children.
Rizwan, a graduate of Government Senior Secondary School, Rana Basti, Jaipur, wanted to be a Community Youth Leader (CYL) ever since his first session as a child. An extremely popular and effective CYL since 2015, he has become known to his community as a support system. Inspired by this, his two older brothers have joined the program as CYLs too.
When asked about the changes he has seen in children he has worked with, he says “each one has changed.”
What he had seen change most was their “self-awareness, their genuine willingness to play in gender-inclusive groups, and their inclination towards better hygiene and nutrition.” Rana Basti community lacks fresh water supply and children are typically discouraged to bathe regularly. As a result of S4D sessions on health and hygiene, children and parents have a much-increased awareness on the spread of disease and the need to maintain certain standards of hygiene. The community comes together to better manage available water and children are seen washing their hands and bathing regularly.