GE Volunteers at HEYA Fight against Childhood Obesity
In Kuwait, as in many parts of the Middle East and North Africa, childhood obesity is a serious and growing problem. A 2011 study found that half of the Kuwaiti 13-15 year olds were overweight and 23% were obese, while only 21% were considered physically active. A separate 2013 report found that nearly one-quarter of girls in the country were obese.
These represent some of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the world, a big worry for Kuwait, since childhood obesity increases the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer, among other ailments.
A new organization called HEYA – Health Empowerment Youth Association – has been formed to raise awareness in Kuwait regarding the childhood obesity epidemic in the country and provide information and programs to help combat it.
In support of the organization, eight GE Volunteers attended HEYA’s recent launch event at the Kuwait National Library and helped usher guests, staff the information desk and manage the Q&A session. Among the attendees were senior members of the Kuwait Ministry of Health and Ministry of Youth, and the US Embassy in Kuwait.
The volunteers enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the event and look forward to working further with HEYA.
Dalal Albohamad, HEYA’s Associate Program Manager, expressed gratitude for the contribution GE Volunteers made to the event and welcomed their continued support. “You set a great example to the rest of our community, giving back and caring for the community in which you work.”
GE Volunteers are active across the region and the world, as part of a global initiative of GE that works with local organizations to address social needs by inviting GE employees to contribute in ways that help build stronger communities. Globally, GE’s employees volunteer more than 1.3 million hours of community service every year.
For more on GE’s citizenship work to support communities across the region, click here.