Maintaining Food Safety Through BOKS Program
Written by: Handry Rambas & Santo Petrus
Photo: WVI staff, Mrs. Yovita (Principal) and Mrs. Selvy (PE Teacher) together with students at SDI Ntala, Manggarai district, East Nusa Tenggara
Maintaining food security in the 3T (Terdepan, Terluar, Tertinggal: Forefront, Outermost, Disadvantaged) areas is indeed a challenge in itself, especially in Buar Village, Manggarai district has difficulty accessing water in the dry season. However, this did not discourage the teachers at SDI Ntala from teaching the importance of maintaining food safety both at school and at home.
“In the past, if there were fruit, they would immediately pick it and eat it. Sometimes it falls on the sand, just wipe it with clothes. Now, they must have gone to find water to wash," said Mrs. Yovita Mamus, principal of SDI Ntala, one of Wahana Visi Indonesia's (WVI) assisted schools through the BOKS (Build Our Kids' Success) program.
In addition, Yovita saw positive changes from the presence of BOKS in their school, namely that children had a sense of responsibility for personal hygiene, such as washing their hands in running water and taking a shower in the morning before going to school. The children at SDI Ntala also have a new habit of bringing lunch from home and drinking water to school.
"Here, children usually bring boiled sweet potatoes to school because we instil the importance of consuming local food, so it won't be a burden for parents. Because the majority of them (parents) are farmers.”
Through the BOKS program, children are taught about balanced nutrition with hands-on practice in preparing a nutrition garden for each class accompanied by their homeroom teacher. Apart from physical activity to make children are able to move for 60 minutes per day according to WHO standards.
“I hope that these BOKS activities will continue because when the BOKS program was not yet present in schools, I saw that the teaching and learning process was so monotonous. Children are less interested in participating in activities (learning at school)," he said.
Mrs. Yovita as the school principal is also interested in implementing the BOKS program not only integrated with PE lessons but in everyday learning in class. "I directed the teachers that BOKS activities were not only carried out by PE teachers but were implemented by all teachers".
The children also conveyed positive things. Gisel (F, 10 yrs) also expressed his opinion related to the implementation of BOKS that has occurred in schools. "It's great if BOKS-PE continues. We like sports activities.".