The EON Thriving Communities Program has been delivered in 24 communities in Western Australia – 18 across the Kimberley region and six in the Pilbara.
Following an invitation from schools, communities and the Anindilyakwa Land Council in 2017, for the first time EON Foundation expanded its footprint outside of Western Australia and into three communities on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory. In 2018 we commenced in 3 new communities in the Murchison/Mid-West region of WA and moved into a further 9 communities in the Big Rivers Region of the NT in 2019.
The EON Thriving Communities Program takes a holistic approach to addressing the problems of food insecurity and poor nutrition in remote communities. It integrates four complementary components:
– EON Edible Gardens
– EON Healthy Eating
– EON Training and Education
– EON Healthy Homes.
The Program is delivered by an EON Project Manager with the help of local Aboriginal Community Assistants, employed by EON over a five year period. This builds trust and a reputation for reliability which is vital in fully engaging the community and sustaining the Program over the long term.
The EON Difference
The EON Thriving Communities Program is unique in Australia and offers a truly holistic nutrition-based approach, targeting the major challenges in remote Aboriginal communities – preventable disease, unhealthy lifestyles and food insecurity.
Our approach is different and is effective because:
- It is a long-term practical approach developing community capacity through working partnerships rather than passive handouts.
- It is about early intervention to remove ‘impediments to parity in education’ – good nutrition is vital for healthy brain development in infants. It gets kids fit for school and helps keep them in school.
- It provides a secure supply of fresh food – vegetables, fruit and bush tucker – where there is typically little or none.
- It builds trust and a reputation for reliability through our presence in community every fortnight for five years – vital in building community engagement, capacity and ultimately ownership.
- It uses nutrition as a preventative approach to disease reduction – which has proven efficacy, is natural and low cost.
- It uses gardens as an alternative to the classroom, engaging kids including those who struggle with conventional learning, outdoors, on the land.