Mondelez Malaysia launched the companyâ€™s flagship social-responsibility programme, Joy Schools. The launch follows the successful completion of well-being activities under the foundation building phase of the initiative which kicked off last year.
With Mondelez Malaysia leading the charge, Joy Schools kick-started with fun-in-learning activities in partnership with social enterprises, MakanLah! and Young Chefâ€™s Academy to instil healthy eating habits among school children in a more exciting way. This was followed by the establishment of a garden-to-table programme at the pioneer school, SK Padang Jawa, where its canteen menu was revamped to include healthier dishes for kids.
Supported by the Ministry of Education Malaysia, Joy Schoolsâ€™ activities are conducted across three core pillars, namely nutrition education (to create nutrition awareness by instilling in students the importance of healthy eating habits and making balanced food choices), access to fresh food (to provide better access to fresh food by empowering schools to grow own fresh ingredients which is called the Joy Garden) and active play (to advocate active play by creating an interactive space that promotes physical engagement and collaborative learning among students.)
This collaboration was also extended to Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI). Mondelez Malaysia employees worked closely with the government agency to set up an edible garden in the schoolâ€™s compound dubbed “Joy Garden”. MARDI shared its expertise in helping to grow fresh produce comprising of herbs, vegetables and fruits in the Joy Garden that will form the main components of the dishes served at the canteen.
Beyond the launch, Mondelez Malaysia will be extending the Joy Schools programme in three schools next year.
Swadheen Sharma, managing director of Mondelez Malaysia said, â€śThe path to positive change starts with the communities surrounding us. Our experience worldwide shows that we can make a greater impact by partnering with organisations which share our passion to promote healthy and active lifestyles. That is why we are working together with key public health partners to empower communities toward this goal.â€ť
â€śWe believe well-being is holistic, that the health of individuals, communities and the planet are inextricably linked. As the maker of well-loved products like belVita Breakfast Biscuits, Cadbury, Oreo, Chipsmore and Twisties we want to give back by being part of the moments of joy in the many communities we operate in. Through Joy Schools, we are able to promote balanced nutrition and active play among the younger generation and help empower as well as educate them to take positive action towards their well-being,â€ť she added.
Joy Schools had its beginning in the Philippines in 2011 with a purpose of creating moments of Joy for the community through programs involving nutrition education, access to fresh food and the promotion of active play. The program aims to create joyful centres of learning, empowering families to live healthy lifestyles in the short term and in the long run to help improve the well-being of the younger generation.
Since its inception in Southeast Asia in 2011, Joy Schools has benefited approximately 11,500 students in 25 schools in Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. Joy Schools also reinforces the countryâ€™s national agenda in the area of nutrition. The Malaysian government had set targets under the Third National Plan of Action for Nutrition of Malaysia (NPANM III) to eliminate malnutrition in all its forms, transform the food system to make nutritious foods available to all, and ensuring access to healthy diet by 2025.