Raising nutrition awareness in Sri Lanka

Nabeela Iqbal, Sri Lanka


Nabeela Iqbal, 22, is a keen advocate. A Guide since 2013 she had been involved in other campaigns for change before joining the Nutrition Programme.

But this has fired her passion – not least when she learned a shocking statistic.

“In Sri Lanka, a third of the population of teenage girls are iron deficient and obese. Moreover girls receive only 69 percent of the energy requirement for a day recommended by the Sri Lanka health ministry, and children consume only 16 percent of the Vitamin A requirement under the ministry's "Recommended Dietary Allowance”

Nabeela thinks there is ignorance and ambivalence about the issue of good nutrition.

She says’ “girls believe nutrition is an insignificant problem. It is the contrary; improper attention to nutrition is a major factor holding them back in allowing them to be their best selves.“ She thinks the programme run by WAGGGS and Nutrition International is a good way to get the message to girls that they must eat well to stay well. “Education and awareness on these issues is the sustainable solution which is why this programme is so important. It is an important issue being tackled in many other countries. “

Girl Powered Nutrition is run by WAGGGs in partnership with Nutrition International. It currently operates in four countries, Madagascar, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

Through fun and practical activities, girls in five of our Member Organisations are learning about the importance of eating the right variety and the right amount of food. We want to ensure that girls have good knowledge about nutrition not only to help them make healthy choices for themselves but also to leave a positive mark in their local communities. The Nutrition programme is also supporting girls and young women to influence decision makes to make girls’ nutrition priority at national level.

Working on the programme has also led to a personal change for Nabeela too.

“I need to take care of myself in terms of nutrition as it impacts how I lead my life and the potential that I can reach in my life. Never underestimate the power of the little things you do towards the bigger picture, which is a world of young girls and women developing their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.”

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