Aboriginal children and their families living in remote communities in the Victoria River region of the Northern Territory are set to benefit from improved nutrition and health, thanks to new funding from the Katherine Region Communities for Children Facilitating Partner program, facilitated by the Smith Family and funded through the Australian Government.
EON Foundation (www.eon.org.au), which has successfully delivered its EON Thriving Communities program across Western Australia and the Northern Territory for over 16 years, has commenced delivery of the five year intensive program at Kalkaringi and Yarralin.
Under the multi-year program, school children will participate in fortnightly classes to understand the vital link between good nutrition and disease prevention. The children and their families will learn how to overcome the dual barriers of food insecurity and remote food costs by mastering the art of growing, preparing and cooking healthy fruit, vegetables and bush tucker.
EON Chair, Caroline de Mori AM, thanked the Smith Family and the Australian Government for investing in the program.
“I welcome their focus on preventing the terrible but preventable diseases caused by poor nutrition. EON’s intensive, early intervention program aligns with health and life expectancy targets established by the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
“This important funding allows EON to expand into two new communities that have been seeking our program for some time. We will apply our tried and trusted approach to address the current high levels of nutrition-related diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, by ensuring there is sufficient fresh food available and that children and their families understand the connection between good food and good health”.
“It is well understood that children, particularly in remote communities, benefit from hands-on learning” said Ms de Mori. “By teaching children how to grow their own food in the garden and prepare healthy meals in the kitchen, we’re improving nutrition in a practical way though learning that’s interactive and fun.”
Eugenie Collyer, Project Manager, Communities for Children Facilitating Partner, Katherine Region (The Smith Family) added:
“EON’s project was recommended by our advisory group, and ultimately endorsed by our committee, because it includes the whole community, and provides opportunities for local employment. It embeds the knowledge of gardening and nutrition by going beyond the classroom and connecting with families and community members.”