Launched in August 2021, Youth Food Action aims to increase the availability and accessibility of healthy foods to school-age children and adolescents and promote dietary consciousness among young people in urban areas in Zimbabwe.
Why we need to promote healthy lifestyles amongst young people
Nutritional deficiencies in the population constitute one of Zimbabwe’s biggest challenges and put heavy burdens on the health system. In particular, the nutrition of young people in Zimbabwe is of grave concern. Having a balanced diet during adolescence is crucial. The body is experiencing puberty and mental changes during this time, so healthy food like fruits and vegetables should be of high priority. In response to this, Hivos Southern Africa, in Partnership with UNICEF Zimbabwe, committed to a pilot project called Youth Food Action. The project falls under the strategic development pillar of our Climate Justice impact area.
How Youth Food Action operates
The project focuses on three main activities:
- Research that would enable policymakers and citizens, particularly young people, to have an increased understanding of Harare and Bulawayo’s adolescent food environments and of the food system that creates them.
- Establishing multi-actor “Food Change Labs” (see explanation below) in Harare and Bulawayo to influence the food environment and food system governance in each city.
- Developing youth-led prototypes/initiatives and a city food manifesto that will revitalize the urban food environment and improve the nutrition of adolescents.
A Food Change Lab is a participatory innovation process. It provides multiple stakeholders and citizens with a platform where they can prioritize issues, define their wants and needs, influence decision making, and co-create solutions to improve their city’s food environment and system.
In Zimbabwe, supporting young people from urban areas such as Harare and Bulawayo.