Myrna Jimenez (rear, ninth left) with Nabawan District Officer Neldin Gimbang (rear, 11th left) in a group photo with representatives of the organisations involved and children who attended the celebration at Pentas Terbuka Nabawan.
KOTA KINABALU: UNICEF and Sabah Social Services Council are partnering to celebrate World Children’s Day on the occasion of Welfare Month in Sabah.
World Children’s Day is a global day of action for children by children. It celebrates the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989.
This World Children’s Day, themed “Health and well-being for every child”, is adopted to emphasise the importance of good nutrition for growth development in children through:
(i) improving the knowledge of the nutritional values of locally available food (recipes and planting activities are based on what is available locally).
(ii) cultivating in children the interest to plant and consume homegrown fruits and vegetables.
Malnutrition is prevalent in Sabah, as in all of Malaysia – According to the 2019 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS 2019), 21.8 per cent of children in Malaysia are stunted.
The first event was kicked off at Pentas Terbuka, Nabawan and Sport Complex, Nabawan yesterday.
Minister of Community Development and People’s Wellbeing Datuk Ir Shahelmey Yahya said children are national assets that not only need to be protected from threats outside but also their rights and opportunities.
He expressed appreciation and gratitude to UNICEF Malaysia for holding a programme like this in Sabah.
“We hope this collaboration will continue so that more related programmes can be held to benefit children and the community in Sabah,” he said. His speech was read by Hajah Myrna Jimenez, Assistant Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Community Development and People’s Wellbeing.
UNICEF Malaysia’s Chief of Communication Marc Vergara was present at the event.
More than 300 children – boys and girls, children with or without disabilities – from Nabawan, Sook, Pensiangan and Keningau participated in the World Children’s Day Celebration in Nabawan.
Cooking classes, planting, recycling, health and hygiene, football clinics and telematch were among the activities organised to promote nutrition, wellbeing, education, non-discrimination and child rights in general.