With the summer vacation fast approaching, the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has introduced an online summer virtual camp. Its purpose is to ensure that kids have an enjoyable holiday during which they participate in creative and informative activities as well.
The virtual camp, therefore, hopes to combine fun and education. It is meant for 6- to 15-year-old kids and had started on the 4th of July. It will conclude on the 15th of August.
Some examples of activities in the virtual camp:
Since the summer vacation is occurring as the Covid-19 outbreak continues, the ministry authorities clarified that the main intention of the camp would be to push children towards practicing a healthy lifestyle during the time.
The camp follows the underlying theme “Together for a fun summer”. It includes a variety of activities, including educational, physical, and recreational programs. There is even a creative pursuit called “healthy cooking”. In this, they would teach the involved children how to make healthy dishes that are not too complicated to prepare.
Another similar event is the “Little Chef” initiative in which there are hands-on cooking workshops and a series of instructional lectures. These classes would cover topics such as how the children can pick nutritious ingredients and healthy cooking mediums. Out of all the competitors, they will select a champion who will be awarded the title of being the “Little Chef”. The honor goes to whoever can manage to come up with the healthiest dish.
Another program is the “Gym With You” activity through which physical education trainers would encourage the kids to partake in sports. Workshops and awareness programs would be conducted on a large spread of themes, especially those related to health. For example, there would be one such awareness workshop organized about learning to have a healthy lifestyle.
What officials have to say about the need for the summer camp:
Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Health Centers and Clinics Sector, MoHAP, praised the virtual camp. He said that government officials have a huge responsibility to build healthy populations, so they must give maximum importance to guarantee their mental and physical health and safety. This also includes improving the extent of the medical care facilities that the state offers so that it matches international standards of quality.
He added that the innovative and creative programs in the initiative have the aim of trying to inculcate healthy food habits and regular physical exercise in children. This is in line with the objective of the National Plan to Combat Childhood Obesity, a program designed to help the UAE in its desire to bring down the rates of childhood obesity. Dr. Hussein considers this a major national priority.
Dr. Nouf Khamis Al Ali, Deputy Director, Health Education, and Promotion Department, MoHAP, emphasized the significance of the new camp. He talked about how it would inspire kids to go for healthy diets and participate in physical activities. Both are advantageous for the children as they aid in making their immune system stronger, thereby protecting them from many diseases. This is important in the pandemic era.