During this year Children for Health has been like a small airplane that has been well serviced over the past year and it is now taking off. We are a bit down on our unrestricted donations this year, but we are having more success fundraising for specific projects. This is great as we are getting to do new things, but we’d love more flexibility to develop our online school and do more work on publicising what we already have and already do.
This year we have continued our work with an amazing colleague in Zambia, Kelvin Nsekwila with whom we have developed SuperBetter Children for Health – a new curriculum on wellbeing. Kelvin won our 2022 Outstanding Partner Award. This award is in memory of three giants of International Child Health and Education: Dr Hugh Hawes, Prof David Morley, and Beverley Young. The work of these three greats inspires me and motivates me to keep going especially when things are difficult.
We have completed our partnerships with colleagues in Eswatini (HIV and AIDS), with Guam (Type 2 Diabetes poster and a Bullying and Resilience story), with Mozambique (School Health and Nutrition), with Zambia (Wellbeing, Nutrition and Malaria, and Inclusive Education).
Work is ongoing in Guam (Type 2 Diabetes Toolkit) and Zambia (Inclusive Education Poster and Storybook).
We have begun work Loughborough University and in February 2023 I will be going to Mexico to work with the Maya community in Yucatan and alongside parents, teachers, children, and academics. We’ll be looking at what children can do in the realms of nutrition, hygiene, physical activity, and the stimulation of infants and young children. We will work with local artists and local universities.
We have continued to grow partnerships with others with whom we expect to work next year on the topics of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Climate Change, Caring for Babies & Young Children and Sexual Health.
We strongly hope that in 2023 our work in Mozambique can resume, and we can get ourselves back alongside the School Health and Nutrition Department of Mozambique’s National Ministry of Education. You may remember that in February 2020 we were formally invited to scale our programme across the country – and then the pandemic hit. So far it has been impossible to get back to where we were although we are very proud of the book in both English and Portuguese that we co-created with partners there. This is our flag in the ground that provides information on exactly where we are now with the programme and what we wish to achieve. It also is a practical guide for any educator wanting to use our programme in the classroom.
An important headline is that – from OUR website alone we have had 84,000 downloads of our resources in 148 countries!
After you have read this summary, I would encourage you to visit our website to view all of our colourful, attractive posters, storybooks and guidebooks, and have a look at our blog to see our illustrated posts and case studies.
Here are further details on the main areas of progress in 2022…
In March we launched our new website theme which is more secure, easier to navigate, and SO much quicker to use on a mobile phone.
85% of our visitors are using mobile devices so we revised and upgraded the website. We worked with a great team in India. A big shout out to Amy Collins – who managed this vital project and handles our website and so much more – for all the work she has put in this year.
In 2022 our role as a Global Knowledge Hub for health education content and activities for children continues to hum and develop. This year we recorded downloads of our materials in a total of 148 countries! We went from a monthly average of 3015 downloads in the first six months to a monthly average of 4686 by the end of the year.
In addition, our storybooks and other booklets are distributed by WorldReader; their quarterly reports give us precise data on the exact numbers of readers, the pages read and the countries where they are being read. We have reached thousands and thousands of readers through this platform, mostly in Africa.
The top five publications downloaded just from our website in 2022 were:
Our posters are hugely popular and we’re so proud of them. We have to give a shoutout to our top storybooks too:
This year we started working with a new part-time team member who is helping us to take our social media to the next level with lots of new content and videos. Find us on the following platforms, please like/follow/subscribe, we’d love to hear from you!
2022 has seen us continue to connect with colleagues around the world. Our anticipated field work in Mexico in 2023 will be the first time we will have been in the field since February 2020. Amazing!
But it doesn’t really feel like such an absence. I have had regular meetings with colleagues all over the world. WhatsApp has been a great way to send and receive videos and photos with our partners in Zambia and Eswatini who have been particularly good at keep us informed of their work with children in this way.
When I went on the road all over the UK in September and October, I kept in touch with everyone from my van and even created training videos!
Our work in Eswatini on HIV & AIDS is at last completed after many, many months of school closures and delays and we are delighted with the result!
Here is a photo of the children reviewing the messages and the teachers giving it the thumbs up. This one of many activities that helped guide the development of the materials.
The storybook will be published in the first week of 2023.
Read more about this project.
2022 has seen the completion of many projects. While an output like a storybook or a poster or a toolkit can seem quite a simple thing, every one of our publications takes a lengthy collaborative in-depth process and in the case of our work on SuperBetter Children for Health has taken not months but years! We hope that the resulting resource will be both a practical guide and a tool to advocate for further work.
It was great to add the topic of Immunisation to our series of posters. We used precious reserve funds as it’s such an important topic in this year with the Covid vaccination being made widely available, and the great news that there is at last a malaria vaccine.
As with all our posters it involved very many experts from around the world.
Together with educators, public health officials, and children in Guam, we co-created a storybook about bullying and resilience. The process included training a facilitator who then conducted several online classes with children. The teacher, with the children, then sent the results of these sessions to us and we based our story on their ideas.
Our storybook and toolkit on Type 2 Diabetes will be completed in the first quarter of 2023. This will combine a storybook based on the ideas and work of the children with simple fun activities.
We assembled a large team of experts from around the world to help us construct 10 messages on inclusion. The messages were checked by children in Zambia, and they also developed ideas on some themes for the storybook. We will continue to work with them going to and fro so we know the book reflects reality and has themes that all children can relate to.
Our storybooks and posters are supposed to be tools where the children, their families, and educators can use the messages, ideas, and activities to inspire the development of local action.
SuperBetter Children for Health is a curriculum for young adolescents that can be integrated into a school’s curriculum or taught as an extracurricular activity. The curriculum has been co-created by Children for Health and Kelvin Nsekwila (a teacher, and the founder of the Tusekwile Imiti Ikula Foundation (TIIF) in Zambia). The Toolkit was developed with the support of our allies at the SuperBetter company.
The content and activities have all been tested and revised with the children of the SuperBetter Children’s Club, Sansamwenje, Isoka District, Zambia.
Throughout the toolkit, there are comments from teachers and children set out in pink boxes, like this one:
The SuperBetter/Children for Health curriculum has played a vital role in the lives of children and youths in the Sansamwenje community of Isoka District in Zambia. The SuperBetter activities have helped shape the children’s mental health and now they’re stronger, healthier, and more resilient. Children who piloted this model have grown to learn that they are the masters of their own thoughts, no situation can harm their feelings without their consent, and that they live in a world full of precious allies to turn to in bad times.
Not quite there yet but 2023 will see the publication of two volumes of our storybooks for those who want to purchase printed version of the stories. We have a volunteer putting these together for us and managing the process. It will be interesting to understand the readership for this and we hope that sales could become a way to fund new storybook projects.
At last we have completed the PCAANS toolkit! We have been so delighted to get back to the school in Changara, Tete Province where we had so much fun in February 2020 – the last time I made a field trip!
PCAANS is the participatory approach to learning and action for nutrition and health. Our colleague, Bibiche Sangwa returned to the school and met with the children and teachers we met all those months ago and discussed how they have been coping during the pandemic and if they felt enthusiastic to revive the programme. Of course, they were!
Then they helped us created this new Toolkit for 2022 which pulls together all the history and experience gained since I have been involved since 2011! And it looks to the future as both a practical guide for teachers and an advocacy tool for programme managers.
Download the PCAANS Toolkit here:
We know from the number of downloads we get each month, and in so many countries, that our content is being used by people all over the world. It’s always nice to get messages like the ones below that give is a flavour for specific projects where our work is being used.
We are planning a training session for children and found the attached materials interesting. (PCAAN poster and Rainbow Garden and Filthy the Fly) My email is to ask your permission to use these documents and translate them into French.
A media and communications officer for a large child focussed organisation in Niger
We work in many minority languages on 6 continents and over 90 different countries. Among our many activities we promote literacy in the vernacular and have a library of books that can easily be translated and used. Many of your child health education posters contain excellent information that could be easily adapted to a book for our library and made available for translation into languages with limited access to health education.
Paediatrician with over 35 years’ experience working with an Institute of Linguistics and as a medical consultant.
I saw the link to SuperBetter Children for Health and looked at other resources on the Children for Health website. What permissions would we need to translate and use the resources that are not yet in our main language (Bangla/Bengali)? Our initial purpose would be a screen display in our children’s outpatient and rehab waiting areas. I found the 100 messages resource – we would copy/paste these onto a PowerPoint or similar software,
Head of Paediatrics, Bangladesh
Have you made use of our free resources too? We’d love to hear from you.
With many thanks for all your interest in and support of Children for Health!