Why we’re exposing school children to healthy living, agriculture – Soludo

Wife of the Anambra State Governor, Mrs Nonye Soludo has inaugurated her Healthy Living clubs as well as Healthy Living Garden Competition in over 325 primary and secondary schools across the 21 local government area of the State.

The governor’s wife also inaugurated head teachers as Healthy Living Champions, including those who majored in Physical Health Education or related courses to lead the clubs in the schools across the state.

Speaking during the inauguration at Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB), Awka, Mrs Soludo said early exposure of children, teenagers and youths to healthy living basics and how to incorporate them in their daily lives would go a long way to making them responsible citizens in future.

She noted that the Healthy Living Garden Competition offered both primary and secondary school students opportunity to appreciate agriculture, self-sufficiency, hard work and charity.

She said, “The Healthy Living Garden Competition will be a termly challenge across all the schools where our clubs are currently domiciled. The challenge is open for individual students and pupils, whose gardens must be located within their school premises. 

“However, students and pupils who go the extra mile to have similar gardens in their homes, with proofs of ownership, will be rewarded. Crops to be planted in the gardens must have the capacity to mature within a termly calender. Crop planting methods for the gardens must be purely organic – no chemical aids or synthetic soil improver. 

“Winners of the competition for both primary and secondary school categories will be announced at the end of each term. Be rest assured that the rewards will match your efforts.”

Addressing the selected teachers, the governor’s wife challenged them to see the task as call for sacrifice and selflessness which must be carried out with passion.

Her words, “Today, you are taking up a responsibility to self and to humanity. You have answered a call for sacrifice and selflessness. This is one call worthy of steadfast dedication, passion, and enthusiasm. 

“You have been selected for this noble task because you bear a mark of hard work and dedication. Now is the time to go even further. Our target is one and simple: Success. 

“This is important because we have set our goals high, keen on achieving each of them. A large chunk of it lies with you. You must carry that in your hearts and minds as we march to making this unique brand a household philosophy. This is your turf now. I expect nothing short of excellence. 

“Healthy Living with Nonye Soludo is a product of deep passion. What we want to achieve is a culture of health consciousness; mindset of change. 

“Being conscious of one’s body is the first step to achieving the right health. I describe it as being selfish with your body. Living right does not cost a fortune. It is all about simple and deliberate habits that define one’s approach to a healthy life. 

“It begins with what you eat and how you take care of your body. I prefer to use the slogan: “You are what you eat.” The bottom line is that if you do not understand what goes into your mouth, your body will not. 

“Healthy living is a very conscious practice. You must make up your mind to sacrifice certain unhealthy habits that do not go well with your body formula. You must understand that to live healthy is to live happy. 

“Therefore, our central focus is to guide the students and pupils on the routines for healthy, sound, and happy lives. We want to build an army of healthy living enthusiasts. Every school child in Anambra State must be fully involved in this movement. 

“My dear ambassadors and school heads, we are entrusting massive faith into your hands. You have all been called up for something historical and life changing. A brand that you must carry with pride. 

“I urge you to take up this duty with the greatest commitment. Your job is both demanding and exceptional. You are a major part of what we wish to achieve in this crusade. 

“As a teacher ambassador, your responsibility is to groom our pupils in line with the standards that we have set. We expect to have frequent reports of the club’s activities in your designated schools. The reports will help us to monitor your successes and understand your needs and direction. 

“Our club activities have been streamlined to be very effective. The club manual should be a daily reference for you and club members. Club rules are sacrosanct. 

“You must ensure that every club member represents our brand of excellence. In character, appearance, and understanding. We are very intentional in being practical. We see with two eyes and listen with both ears. Do not disappoint me.

“Healthy living is a crucial way of life. Our relationship with the body will ultimately define what it gives back. If you feed it well, it gives you wellness. If you feed it badly, it gives you sickness. That is the ideology we want to instil in the minds of our these pupils. 

“Healthy living with Nonye Soludo is designed to give every child a platform to succeed. Each club member carries an identity of difference. That is why we insist that one of the requirements for being a club member is cleanliness. Members of the club must stick to its foundational norms, always. 

“We have set our standards high because healthy living requires strong discipline. We want to reflect that principle on everything that we do. Therefore, as a teacher ambassador, those responsibilities fall on your shoulders. Whether we succeed or fail in this quest is in your hands. But we must succeed. And you all will play a big role in achieving that.”

Executive Chairman of ASUBEB, Dr Vera Nwadinobi reminded the teachers that being ambassadors required leading inspiring and model lives for the youths to emulate. 

She commended Mrs Soludo for championing the initiative, describing it as reflection of her genuine desire for early equipping of the children with life-long survival skills that would help them live healthy adult lives and contribute to the development of society.

Also speaking, Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike expressed joy that the governor’s wife, through the initiative, was grooming a generation of young people conscious of their lifestyle.

The event which was graced by Commissioner for Environment, Engineer Felix Odimegwu and that of his Industry counterpart, Christian Udechukwu, witnessed distribution of about 330 fully-equipped first aid kits to the various schools teachers were selected as ambassadors.

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