Head Start Kids Partners with the Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign in Southern Africa

Program provides essentials to ensure preschoolers are healthy, educated and fit
Mar 28, 2017 10:00 AM ET

The childhood malnutrition statistics in southern Africa aren’t good, but Head Start Kids views them as an opportunity to make a dramatic impact on its future citizens.

  • 24% (that’s 1,309,000 children) under age 5 are stunted (too short for age)
  • 44% of children under 5 are vitamin A deficient
  • 11% of children under 5 are anemic

Head Start Kids is a foundation in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa that this year alone will reach more than 2,849 children under age 5.  The program seeks to improve the educational environment by focusing on three specific areas – nutrition, movement, and enrichment education.

Over the past year and a half, the Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign has become the cornerstone of the Head Start Kids nutrition education. Each day the children are provided with an individual 1-gram packet called Nutrilite Little Bits. When mixed with food, the powder provides children ages 6 months to 5 years with the 15 essential vitamins and minerals they need to survive, thrive and grow.

“We recorded significant success in just the first three months,” said Head Start Kids founder Lily Geerdts. “Energy levels were higher and we saw an improvement in the children’s movement and educational performance.” To monitor progress, a child’s height, weight and head circumference were taken each month.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), seven million children under the age of 5 die each year from preventable causes. Malnutrition is the underlying cause of 45 percent of these deaths.

“Our partnership with Head Start Kids fits a model we continue to replicate around the globe,” said Jeff Terry, Global Head Corporate Social Responsibility at Amway Corporation. “It’s one where a corporate partner brings experience and product knowledge, and blends that with an NGO partner that has a strong and successful track record for local program delivery.”

Geerdts is also quick to point out, “We are not doing charity work.  We are all about creating hope and change that will uplift our country’s educational system, and more importantly, prepare our children for a better life!”