FAO/WAGGGS Nutrition Medal

Every October the FAO/WAGGGS Nutrition Medal is awarded to a Girl Guide/Girl Scout group for relevant work to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the world.

The award scheme was launched on World Food Day, 1995 to support the WAGGGS triennial theme, Building World Citizenship, and to mark the 50th birthday of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

WAGGGS Member Organizations may propose individual or group projects for consideration for the award, which aims to highlight the Movement’s nutrition-related work throughout the world and promote activities to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.

Your group can be the next to receive the FAO/WAGGGS Nutrition Medal. Download the form and apply!

Winners include:

  • The Singapore Girl Guides Association
  • Bharat Scouts and Guides (India)
  • Girls Scouts of the Philippines
  • Kenya Girl Guides Association
  • Federação de Bandeirantes do Brasil
  • Federazione Italiana dello Scautismo
  • Latvia - Latvijas Skautu un Gaidu Centrala Orgnizacija
  • Austria - Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs
  • Chile - Grupo de Guías y Scouts “Nguen Mapu” de Pirque
  • Pakistan Girl Guides Association
  • The Girl Guides Association New Zealand
  • The Guatemala Girl Guide Association
  • Uganda Girl Guides Association Nutrition
  • Girlguiding UK

Bharat Scouts and Guides

Two units in the Bharat Scouts and Guides in India received the FAO-WAGGGS award for their projects on maternal and child health.

The Rani Laxmibai Guide Company, H. B. Girme Vidyalaya Pune, Maharashtra State and the Indiira Gandhi Guide Company Dharamveer Sambhaji Vidyalaya Satara, Maharashtra State both received the Award for their community development projects which looked at the causes of malnutrition in mothers and babies and how to remedy this issues.

The girls visited families in the area to talk about health and nutrition, arranged seminars and a march was held in Wanwadi promoting the importance of drinking water during the hot weather.

Girls Scouts of the Philippines

The Chief Girl Scouts Project on Health aimed to improve the education of mothers on the proper nutrition of their children. It also aimed to strengthen the relationship between government and non-governmental organizations on health.

The Girl Scouts planned and organized a number of food and nutritional projects and programmes, whilst developing their own leadership and organizational skills.

The Chief Girl Scouts Project on Ecology and Magic Spot Project was concerned with developing waste land into a vegetable garden, continuing education on biodegradable waste management and working with the government and other NGOs for support and information.

Through this project the members have learnt about taking responsibility for their own communities and how they can make a difference to a healthy lifestyle for others. They learnt how they could produce their own vegetables and supply their own nutritional needs, learnt about organic waste management, and learnt about the values of teamwork and discipline that were necessary to complete the project.

Federazione Italiana dello Scautismo

Eight projects from the National Organization of Italian Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (Federazione Italiana dello Scautismo) won the FAO WAGGGS Nutrition Award in 2003.

The two Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting associations in Italy (CNGEI and AGESCI) organized an umbrella project ’Eat with your Brain, Fight Hunger’, which became the national theme for Thinking Day 2003.

Guides and Scouts around the country were encouraged to choose an aspect of food and nutrition (e.g. malnutrition, obesity, healthy eating) to focus on and organize formal activities. Many groups decided to work on an international level and help to support a project in another Member Organization: projects were supported in Mexico, Paraguay, Ghana, Rwanda, Togo, El Salvador and the Philippines.

Within the various projects entitled ’Not only bread’, ’Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger’ and ’Eat with your Brain, Fight Hunger’, troop members looked at healthy eating and the problems associated with it, especially in poorer countries. They considered different ways of facing food problems and different countries’ attitudes to food; they tasted different foods, played games and thought of ways to improve the divide of natural resources between developing and developed countries.

The projects involved a total of around 50,000 Brownies, Cubs, Guides and Scouts and up to 150,000 people from the local communities.

Seven young leaders evaluated the projects, selecting seven of the best projects from around Italy to put forward for the FAO/WAGGGS Nutrition award, in addition to the umbrella project organised by the National Organization. These were:

  • AGESCI Messapia District
  • AGESCI Roma 16 Veneto Regio
  • CNGEI Roma (Brownies)
  • CNGEI Torino
  • CNGEI Firenze (Brownies)
  • CNGEI Pisa

Federação de Bandeirantes do Brasil

The projects, in five different regions, entitled ’Culture of Peace… The Hunger Combat’ focused on training young people to reduce the hunger index in the country and to teach communities about ways to improve their nutrition and diet. Before the start of the projects, the leaders learnt about the different communities and tailored the activities to maximize the relevance to the people living there.

In the Pernambuco Region, the main problems were lack of knowledge about nutrition and low income to be able to afford food. The activities developed included growing a community vegetable garden and running lectures and practical activities for children to teach them about health and diet.

In the São Paulo Region, the problems were low income and high cost of living. The projects involved planting a vegetable garden, learning about preserving food, treating water and using all edible parts of vegetables and fruit, as well as developing skills that could supplement the family income.

The project in the Rio Grande do Sul Region focused on growing food, improving sanitation and hygiene education, and developing activities for children such as drama, dancing, lectures and workshops on health and diet.

Girlguiding UK

On World Food Day, two projects from Girlguiding UK were awarded the FAO/WAGGGS Nutrition Award.

The 68th Bradford Rainbows raised awareness of healthy eating, especially the importance of fruit in the diet amongst the people of Bradford. The Rainbows reached a wide range of people in the city including their own families, people who attended regular meetings and passers by who took part in fruit tasting exercises.

Living conditions in Bradford vary considerably. It is a city with a diverse population but the Rainbows’ project reached a large cross section of the population. The Rainbows spent about two months educating people in healthy eating. They used a variety of methods to convey their message - giving fruit out in the street, displaying posters and writing letters.

The 1st Cullybackey Guides educated the local community on healthy eating issues, and at the same time made the community more aware of the inequality of food provision worldwide. Local people were involved in completing a healthy eating quiz, which raised money for the overseas charity, Tearfund.

Over 300 people from the local community participated in a food evening, during which they played games that taught basic healthy eating. The participants not only learned about how they can improve their own health and the health of their families, but they also learned about food distribution in the global community.

The Guatemala Girl Guides Association

’Nutrition for a healthy life and chronic disease prevention’

Guatemala is one of many countries which believes that the best way to improve the health of the nation is to invest in disease prevention rather than in hospital centres and disease cure.

In spite of Guatemala being an agricultural country, people do not get enough fruit and vegetables and instead eat too much fatty and sugar foods, particularly in urban areas. In response to this, the Guatemala Girl Guide Association, with the cooperation of the Girl Guides of Canada, focused its project work on teaching girls and young women how to prevent chronic diseases by monitoring their diet and their lifestyle.

The project work was co-ordinated by a committee comprising doctors, nutritionists and psychologists. The project emphasized the importance of nutrition as an essential part of health and wellbeing.

The ‘Nutrition for a healthy life and Chronic disease prevention’ project had two aims: (1) to teach girls and young women about the importance of food and nutrition for a healthy life; (2) to motivate girls to be responsible for their own health and wellbeing in order to minimize the risk of chronic disease such as cancer and cardiovascular problems.

Activities included devising original nutritious recipes, and menus for school and home; cultivating fruit and vegetable gardens and health fairs. Girl Guides were encouraged to teach their families, their school friends, and their communities about healthy eating and living.

The Guatemala Girl Guide Association designed information leaflets on health and nutrition, which were distributed among the community.

The Kenya Girl Guides Association

The Kenya Girl Guides Association was the first WAGGGS’ Member Organization to be presented with the award. The Shanzu Cadets won the award for the ‘Shanzu Transitional Workshop for Disabled Girls’ which developed a programme for girls with a disability at the Rehabilitation Centre in Shanzu to grow their own food and to be aware of the necessity of water in their arid region.

Kenyan Girl Guides have learned how to grow food crops, harvest beans, spinach and maize. The Girl Guides have introduced a drip irrigation scheme to provide water for their crops during the dry weather. The girls also plan to make compost to improve the condition of the soil.

Princess Benedikte of Denmark, the Patron of the Olave Baden-Powell Society, visited the project as part of the 75th Anniversary celebrations of Girl Guiding in Kenya.

The projects in the Pará and Roraima Regions developed the communities’ understanding of nutritious values of food, preserving food, growing vegetables in gardens which would otherwise be left to become wasteland and education about the different uses of different parts of the vegetable, such as the roots.

Girl Guides of Kuwait

The Girl Guides of Kuwait received the FAO/WAGGGS nutrition medal for their project "environment in the Heart" during the Arab Regional Conference 2007. The initiative, focused on protecting the land, marine and aerial environments against adverse human activity. It ran from October 2005 to February 2007 and involved almost 800 people. The Ministry of Education and the Suad Al-Sayegh Intermediate School approved and named the project as part of the "Girl Guide Movement: New Opportunities and Challenges" plan. During the programme participants met with the Kuwaiti Society for Environment Protection, Kuwait University, the Fire Department, the Department of Civil Defense and experts in oil and the environment to discuss the possible effects of an environmental catastrophe. The Guides also met the Secretary of the Environmental Commission of Kuwait National Assembly.

Pakistan Girl Guides Association, Punjab Branch

The Punjab Girl Guides have been running a project on the health and welfare of children in Samsani khui, Lahore since 1999. A survey was conducted in 2003 to ascertain how much effect the project had had. The results of the survey showed that before the project, children did not understand about the importance of eating a balanced and healthy diet. Through the project, they learned about the importance of drinking milk, eating nutritious food and boiling water before drinking. Mothers have also improved their diet as a result of the project, by including more vegetables, beans and rice and cutting down on too much oil and salt. The project also developed literacy and hygiene-practices in the region, and emphasized areas such as water purification, disposal of garbage, iodized salt and water testing. The project was supported by Girlguiding UK and has been widely recognized in Pakistan.

The Singapore Girl Guides Association

For their Thinking Day Fundraising project, Girl Guides at a school in Singapore made the most nutritional cookies they could. They designed and made the packaging, sold the cookies and the money raised went to a convalescent home. This was a great opportunity for the girls to demonstrate their cookery skills, think about nutritional values of the food they were making and help people less fortunate than themselves. The girls all worked together as a team and hope to repeat the project next year.

Latvia - Latvijas Skautu un Gaidu Centrala Orgnizacija

The project aimed to teach Guides and Scouts about Latvian eating traditions, following changes in the country and the move away from agriculture. Participants worked on a number of issues including: traditional food, junk food and health, home produced food, natural medicines, national festivities and food, and Scout camp food. Participants learned how certain foods are made and how ancient customs are observed. A camp cookery book was compiled.

The project was run in partnership with Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs. Three Awards were given to three most outstanding groups.

Austria - Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs

The Association encouraged Guide and Scout troops all over Austria to implement innovative projects on food, nutrition and health. 43 projects took place and three were chosen as the most outstanding.

These three projects have been awarded the FAO Award:

  • Dornbirn - County Vorarlberg
  • Trofaiach - County Styria
  • Steyr I - County Upper Austria

Activities included growing vegetables, making juices, running a party for children on healthy food, and producing a video on nutrition.The activities were done in partnership with Latvijas Skautu un Gaidu Centrala Orgnizacija.

Chile - Grupo de Guías y Scouts “Nguen Mapu” de Pirque

The participants built organic orchards and a collective to improve the quality of food for rural families in the community. Pirque is a rural area and agriculture is the main activity. It is also an area with many social problems including alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence and teenage pregnancies. All the beneficiaries were women, many of whom are single mothers or acting as head of the family.

Uganda Girl Guides Association Nutrition Guide

The Uganda Girl Guides’ initiative is called a ‘Nutrition Guide’. It was funded in part by the Norwegian Guides and Scouts and the UK Guide Association.

The project concentrated mainly on improving about 3000 Girl Guides’ understanding of the preparation of locally grown food stuffs. It was aimed at both rural and urban communities. The Girl Guides in the countryside also produced and distributed traditional recipe books to local communities which comprise low income earners and agricultural producers.