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Epode International Network

Feb.15.2016

NEWSL#3 – THE NETHERLANDS, SPAIN, FRANCE, BELGIUM FRESH NEWS FROM ADOLESCENTS PROJECTS

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Teenagers at a healthy weight in the Netherlands : In order to gain more insights on effective actions to reach adolescents from disadvantaged environments Jongeren Op Gezond Gewicht, (Jogg) in the Netherlands is rolling out a project addressing teenagers. Via interactive trendworkshops in 3 secondary schools, the target group is encouraged to share their (best) ideas on a healthy lifestyle: what notions do they have regarding healthy lifestyle? And what are possible ways to address unhealthy behaviors? The first workshop took place in two high-school classes in JOGG-municipality Oss. In January the workshop will be run in JOGG-municipalities Lochem and Dordrecht. The project will also deliver a booklet for JOGG- and OPEN- professionals containing ideas on effective ways to approach this group. We foresee the launch of the project deliverables in spring.

 

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The Salta project in Spain aims to develop a “project model” of Community based intervention to reach adolescents, for the municipalities of the Community of Madrid. With this objective in mind a pilot project is being implemented in the municipality of Humanes de Madrid. It was initiated following a study that collecting information on teenagers’ habits and on the physical activity services offered in the municipality. In addition, a study involving focus groups was carried out among teenagers from the town to understand the barriers that adolescents perceive and their origins. Currently, along with the main partners and on the basis of the information gathered, several activities are beeing organized in the municipality aimed at facilitating access to “active” events and attractive and accessible physical activity workshops. As part of the range of activities that promote physical activity, Salta launched the call for the competition “we all move” involving adolescents in teams of 6 (3 boys and 3 girls). The objective of the teams is to reach at least half a million steps over two weeks, by adding the steps of all the team members. The steps will be measured with pedometers. Other activities include healthy food workshops and the Salta interviews with the families. These are an opportunity for adolescents to discuss with their family the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyles and practicing physical activity;The evaluation will take place in June 2016 and the deliverables (manual and document templates) will be finished in September 2016.

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In France, the OPEN project is targeting around 20 teenagers from 8 communes in the Flandre-Lys community of communes and runs along 3 axis:the organisation of activities around the “eat right” and “move more” concepts, the establishment of structure for sports designed for these young people and the creation of a video about the project. Activities take place during the school holidays involving young people who are attending youth clubs. During the November holiday young people tried the slackline and took part in a culinary challenge. At Christmas 85 teenagers participated in a special day that began with a big quiz on the subject of food and lifestyle and which continued with many more activities at the ice rink, which had been for the occasion. They were able to skate to the sound of music provided by a DJ, and participated in activities such as the “broom ball”. The day ended with a dinner made of a balanced and original buffet which built on the knowledge acquired in the morning during the quiz. On the menu: tomato salad, carrots with cumin, endives with nuts, pasta salad with olives and mozzarella… All the teenagers were excited about the program and had also brought, as requested by the project team, some games and toys to give to charities! The youngsters are now looking forward to the activities planned for their next holiday. The program will include culinary workshops to learn to make various appetizing recipes, rediscover the burger and enjoy “food art” with fruit! With regards to physical activity: initiation to dodgeball, free jump and basketball on trampolines.

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In Belgium, in the town of Mouscron, the objective of the OPEN project is to increase active transport to school, i.e. choosing to cycle, walk, take a scooter or public transport rather than use a car. Two schools are participating with 100 pupils. The local OPEN team has set up a comprehensive advertising campaign around the project with a video promoting active transport designed to change behaviours. The campaign starts in March and the challenge will last for three weeks following the Easter holiday. Changes in habits and in the choice of transportation will be evaluated by a survey and by testing people’s motivation over time. A day-out for sports to all participants and the winning class will receive bikes. In the Flemish city of Hasselt, the non-profit organization Arktos participates in the OPEN project. They offer a school-replacement programme for young adults, or interact with them during leisure activities organised in a particularly sensitive neighborhood. Since the beginning of the project, a lot of small changes have been incorporated in their daily routine, adding up to an overall health approach. Weekly sports activity is now included in the agenda every Friday afternoon: soccer, fitness or even rock climbing… It is a great way for teenagers to lose some of the excess energy they have built up over the course of the week. Healthy eating has also become a priority. That is why the adolescents have started building a vegetable and herbs garden from scratch and they are learning to cook: every week different soup is on the menu. And since sodas have been replaced by water, the teenagers are not the only ones benefiting; the supporting staff is also getting the hang of it!