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City casts net wider for more wellness warriors

As part of its Go Jozi Healthy Lifestyle Programme, the City is inviting co-operatives to help it “instil a culture of healthy living among schoolchildren”.

The schools programme promotes physical and emotional health by providing accessible and relevant information for children and staff so they can make informed decisions about their health. Through the programme, the City seeks to enhance life expectancy among Johannesburg residents through healthy eating and exercise.

At a Jozi@Work regional forum at the Lenasia Cricket Stadium on Tuesday October 4, the City’s Health and Social Development Department announced that it aimed to reach 15 624 learners in 13 schools in Region G. The region comprises Naturena, Eldorado Park, Lenasia, Zakariyya Park, Vlakfontein, Lawley, Driziek, Poortjie and Orange Farm.

This is the second region where the “wellness warriors” programme has been introduced in Johannesburg. The first was Region D, under which most of Soweto falls, where it is expected to reach 82 236 learners in 122 schools. The initiative is undertaken in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Department of Education.

“Through Jozi@Work, we will appoint co-operatives that will work in schools to instil a culture of healthy living among learners. This will include various forms of exercise, healthy eating and good hygiene,” said the Health and Social Development Department’s Nokuthula Zulu.

“The ultimate aim is to extend the programme to the rest of the community.”

Co-operatives will not only appoint, allocate and oversee wellness warriors in identified schools but they will also be expected to promote parent, community and staff involvement.

“A wellness warrior is a person who is taken from the community to go into an identified school to practise and promote healthy living,” said Zulu.

Each wellness warrior will receive training and be allocated a minimum of five schools. They will also be provided with smartphones with built-in Healthy Lifestyle Schools Programme software, uniform, airtime and files. They will work a minimum of three hours a day. The Health and Social Development Department will monitor the work and conduct assessments.

Submissions of expressions of interest close at midday on Thursday October 13. The forms must be submitted at the Corobrik Building, Lenasia South, and marked for the attention of Jozi@Work Co-ordinator Zodwa Maseko.