GE Volunteers Combat Diabetes in Kuwait, One Student at a Time
Kuwait has the world’s sixth highest incidence of diabetes and as a result, the country’s Ministry of Health is leading a nationwide effort to raise awareness to address this. What’s more, the International Diabetes Federation estimates that more than half the people challenged with diabetes in the Middle East and North Africa, including those in Kuwait, don’t know they have it.
In support of Kuwait’s diabetes education effort, 11 GE Volunteers in Kuwait recently participated in a fun and engaging daylong workshop for 60 children, and their parents and teachers at the Dasman Diabetes Institute.
The GE Volunteers led the children, aged 8 to 10 from The English School of Fahaheel, in a range of activities that began with a lesson on what diabetes is, and then moved on to address the broader theme of healthy living. There were sessions on “What is in my food?” “Move for your heath,” and “Becoming your own chef.” In these sessions, children learned about the food pyramid and the various food groups. They explored various forms of exercise in the context of the country’s desert climate, and gained hands-on experience cooking more healthy dishes that, for example, could be made with less saturated fat and sugar.
One engaging aspect of the workshop was the distribution of pedometers, designed to keep the lessons of the day alive for the children. Each child was given a pedometer and instructed to record how much they moved each day. At the end of a month, the children with the highest recorded movements would win a prize.
GE Volunteers are active across the region, bringing their expertise and energy to tackle problems in their communities. Around the world, GE Volunteers has 242 local councils in 55 countries. In 2012, 1.3 million employee volunteer hours were invested in 7,400 community projects worldwide.