Nutrition and healthy lifestyle specialist

Helen Keller International

Job Summary

Overview The job of the Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles Specialist is to develop and integrate a multi-pronged program of nutrition education, garden-based production of nutrient-rich crops, and active play into the school curricula, teacher trainings, PTA orientations and home activities of primary grade students (6-12 years of age) in nine targeted primary schools in Ikeja, Lagos State with the active involvement of volunteers from Mondelēz

  • Minimum Qualification: Degree
  • Experience Level: Mid level
  • Experience Length: 3 years

Job Description

Helen Keller International is dedicated to saving the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. We combat the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health and nutrition. We currently have more than 180 programs in 21 African and Asian countries.

Essential Functions

Nutrition / Healthy eating:

  • Oversee the design of a multi-pronged nutrition education; school gardening and physical education program appropriate for primary school children and that can be integrated into the existing curriculum.  This will involve in-depth and/or focus group discussions with local health workers, teachers, PTA members and others to explore a variety of key information areas including (i) relevant lifestyle attitudes and practice, (2) ways to activate parental  involvement, (iii) ways to integrate healthy eating and food choices, WASH, nutrient-rich food production and active play and physical education into existing school curricula (including development of lesson plans, learning aids, visual reminders, etc).
  • Work with the schools’ nutrition focal point, teachers, school administrators and PTA members as appropriate to develop learning modules, toolkits, lesson plans and a training plan on physical fitness, school gardening, WASH, safe food and water storage, and healthy eating.
  • Develop and implement an initial training and subsequent refresher training program on the use of lessons plans and learning modules for teachers and PTA members to use in and out of the classroom.
  • Train teachers from each participating school to build counseling and problem-solving skills to enable the teachers and parents to identify specific, actionable changes children and their families can make to improve nutrition, food production, and active play. Support teachers on a regular basis and train newly recruited teachers, thus creating a sustainable increase in nutrition knowledge and capacity within the school system.
  • Work with the PTA and school administrators and teachers to develop a strategy to promote handwashing at all critical moments and safe food and water storage that is supported by visual reminders to create the habit, construction of simple handwashing station (Tippy Taps) near school latrines and cooking areas.
  • Work with Mondelēz volunteers and the nutrition focal points for each school to provide supportive supervision to observe and support teachers as they carry out their lesson plans.
  • Develop a training program on healthy eating and good hygiene and sanitation practices for private food vendors who provide mid-day meals to students

Promoting active play and healthy lifestyle:

  • Work with schools to identify opportunities for exercise ensuring a variety of activities that attract both boys and girls and addressing barriers to participation (e.g. physical disabilities). These may include before- and after-school activities, such as sports teams, led by community volunteers (including volunteers  from Mondelēz) which the project can support
  • Work with nutrition focal point, MOH and PTA representatives to develop and integrate key messages related to physical activity and whole-of-community support for healthy lifestyles (guided by World Health Organization’s Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity documents) into the training package for teachers and PTA representatives
  • Develop a training strategy and work plan to conduct initial teacher training and subsequent refresher trainings (in years 2 and 3). Teachers will receive an initial training and then refresher trainings in years two and three of the project.
  • Work with teacher to transform physical activity guidelines into lesson plans to encourage play and physical fitness not only at school but also at home
  • Work with schools to increase inter-house sports activities.  Engage Mondelēz staff to support these inter-house events, for example by providing additional coaching to students.
  • Help to organize football games for parents and teachers (with Mondelēz volunteers), reinforcing the importance of lifelong physical activity for adult health.

Growing fresh foods:

  • Identify inputs to be provided by HKI to promote school and home gardens.  Develop and oversee a training plan that covers soil preparation and planting techniques; appropriate use of fertilizer with organic matter (compost); water-harvesting techniques; garden maintenance; and processing and conservation of garden produce. Given the peri-urban context, teach how to grow plants in small spaces using recycled containers.  Organize refresher trainings in years two and three of the project.

Creating awareness:

  • Develop a strategy to raise awareness of the importance of good food and nutrition as well as physical fitness. 
  • This will include (i) organizing ground-breaking ceremonies for the gardens, (ii) coordinating and scheduling with Mondelez volunteers to support the ongoing gardening activities, for example, by spending one hour a week helping children plant, weed and harvest (iii) promoting the formation of School Gardening and Health Clubs to help maintain gardens, promote nutrition and fitness activities and ongoing student participation, (iv) organizing  annual Harvest Fests and fairs where children give tours of the garden to parents, the crops are displayed, cooking demonstrations are conducted and cook-offs and nutrition quizzes are organized.
  • Promote and coordinate engagement of Mondelez volunteers:
  • Work and communicate closely with management and employees at the Mondelēz production site and head office in Lagos State to identify key individuals and activities where employees can volunteer their skills, time and interest in the project. 
  • Work with management to find incentives and/or ways to recognize the contribution of volunteers to the project.

Skills/Qualifications

  • A Bachelor's Degree in Education, Public Health or a related discipline with a focus on health, nutrition and/or physical education with a minimum of five years' experience in the field of public health nutrition, nutrition education or physical education. A Master's Degree will be an added advantage.
  • Prior experience with curriculum design, lesson plan development and training.
  • An understanding of and experience working with the Lagos primary school system, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and other relevant stakeholders.
  • An understanding of the Ikeja LGA and LCDA structure and experience working with relevant LGA-level stakeholders.
  • Experience working with stakeholders from the Lagos state Ministries of Health, Education and Agriculture, and the Lagos state Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget
  • Due to the degree of interaction with local communities around Ikeja, proficiency in Yoruba language is highly desirable.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Excellent coordination, organization and problem-solving skills.

Note:

  • You will receive an auto-response confirming your application.
  • There is no relocation allowance available for this position.

How to Apply?

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