23rd March, 2017 In its 6th year, the Maie5 Campaign has an exciting year planned in its mission to improve the health and well being of students. The project includes educating students on the benefits of eating a variety of fruit and vegetables to help them establish life-long healthy eating habits.
The project has four different stages to accomplish within 10 primary schools this year.
Activities include the preparationand implementation of vegetable gardens in each school, cooking classes, and competitions to take place towards the end of this year.
The Maie5 schools for 2017 includes, Ha’alalo&Ha’akame GPS, GPS Popua, Longolongo,’Atele, Lotolu, Mu’a, Lapaha, Ha’amonga, Ocean of Light and Acts Community School.
Mr. FalakikoPenitani, the Maie5 Project Coordinator stressed the importance of educating students at a young age, which will have an impact on their lives when they grow up.
“It is significant to educate the grassroots level on the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and how to grow and manage their own vegetable garden. I’m talking about educating these kids when they’re young to know and learn on how to make the right choice which not only reduces the risk of having NCDs but will certainly benefit their future,” he said.
He then urged the guidance ofteachers and parents to support the children toengage in these activities, as they will beable to apply and pass on the knowledge and skills they learn through Maie5 at home. Meanwhile, Mr. Minoru Nishi, the Chairman of the campaign stated that, “we need to ensure all kids are given an opportunity to learn about food and good eating habits so that they’re sorted for life.”
Since 2012, the Maie5 task force committee has successfully implemented its Healthy Eating program to primary schools in Tonga. It addresses the need for locally grown fruits and vegetables to be readily available at a reasonable cost in order to foster healthy lifestyles from childhood and reduce non-communicable diseases. Maie5 is run by a committee as a Not-for-Profit group under the umbrella of Nishi Trading and is supported by the Tongan Government, Australian Government and TongaHealth. Its working partners also includes; NZ5+ADay, Ministry of Education, Australian Government, TCC, JICA, KlickEx Trading, Ministry of Health, and MAFFF.
For more stories on Maie5 please tune in to TV Tonga, this Thursday 23rd, 7:30pm and catch KikoPenitani, the Ambassador of Maie5 (Charlize and Christopher) with Monica Tu’ipulotu as host where they’ll guide you through the first stage of Maie5. Always remember, our health is everyone’s business.
Issued by the: Tonga Health Promotion Foundation, Phone: +67625-721 email: