Launch of the Diabetes poster!

We are absolutely delighted to be launching a new Children for Health (CfH) poster on the topic of Diabetes. It is two sided and in full colour. Click the image below to download it for free.

This is the next poster in our collection of Children for Health posters.

The development of the two-sided poster has been a co-creation with the Get Healthy Guam Coalition (GHGC) and Guam Memorial Hospital Authority and has been generously supported by the Rotary Pacific Basin Group.

This group has also funded the printing of 800 copies of the poster for distribution to schools and youth groups on Guam, Saipan, Palau, Chuuk and Pohnpei. The Guam Diabetes Control Coalition and The Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, under the Department of Public Health and Social Services, have together generously funded the printing of a further 1,000 copies.

Involved in the development of this poster over four months, were experts from both the Children for Health network and the GHGC. These experts sent research and educational resources for us to consider, and reviewed shortlists of messages and activities.

The process was extremely rich and there were many compromises to be struck over content and phraseology. In light of this, Children for Health has agreed to develop a short toolkit to generate additional ideas for activities for educators to use when introducing the poster to groups of children.

Unlike our other CfH posters, we have added a new section on the back to set out the distinctions between the different types of diabetes. It is a complex topic, but one we seek to simplify accurately.

On the front of poster are 10 fully illustrated Key Messages on Diabetes for children to understand, learn and share. On the back of the poster, we set out ideas for activities that children can do to learn and share the messages with their friends. Although we expect this poster to be used widely in Guam, Saipan, Palau, Chuuk and Pohnpei, we also hope that those interested in the Children for Health approach and who use our other resources, will find the poster relevant and useful, whatever country they are in.

To view all our free resources (including storybooks, guides, charts and more) please visit: www.childrenforhealth.org/resources

We want children to understand and to be clear about diabetes and how to prevent it and the ten messages are nuggets of key information. We are not against children rote learning these, but more than this, the ten key messages are best used as doorways to discussion – tools to use to initiate real debate in the family and amongst friends.

At Children for Health, we believe that any shift in behaviour requires those whose behaviour we may seek to change to become deeply involved in understanding what the behaviours are all about. Most choices we make are linked to our identity – a combination of one’s own identity and that of the family or of the community. We like to consider five realms, as illustrated by our Rainbow Circle tool here:

Food choices can be about so many things, including sociability, affordability, family systems and habits etc. and you don’t change any of that with a ‘message’. However, we have observed that, when well facilitated by educators and others, such messages can become a springboard into deep work that can lead to changes.

Education is just one of the strategies that we need to make change, and it is a really important one too – it’s not just about dos and don’ts. We have been so frustrated by several campaigns, such as the Change for Life – ‘eat 5 fruit and veg a day’ in the UK – a campaign that cost the British taxpayer millions of pounds – a campaign that had very little power, if any. Most people (even 10 year old people) know they should eat more fruit and vegetables, so what needs to be done is for those people to look into why that’s not happening, what is being chosen instead and why, and then figure out how to take incremental and small steps towards what is considered a healthier diet. This process is about empowering people, not patronising or lecturing them.

The life skills that children gain in understanding health issues of relevance – investigating them – coming up with solutions – trying out solutions – and reflecting if they have worked or not – has great transferability. Educators, who use a rich approach to enable children to tackle one health issue, will also be equipping them to tackle another.

Perhaps the most important  thing that children can do is help to support other children who want to make changes. Very often it is the attitudes of friends and family that lead to children developing healthier ways to live. Educators can do small things to create enabling and supportive learning environments, and this will go some way to promote the health and well being of our children.

Children for Health is working with the GHGC on a new storybook on bullying and resilience and have other plans in the pipeline, too.

Also, we are using our collaborative approach to:

  • Co-create new posters and storybooks in Eswatini (HIV & AIDS)
  • Create a teachers’ manual with children and teachers focussing on mental health (Zambia)
  • Promote a successful programme on nutrition and health (Mozambique).
  • Develop a gameful way to approach learning in physical activity, early childhood development and nutrition (Mexico), in partnership with the University of Loughborough; and
  • Develop a new partnership to work on Immunisation (Sierra Leone and Nigeria).

For any enquiries about our work, please contact clare@childrenforhealth.org

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