First launch of Unicef Kid Power project outside of USA.

Photos available here: http://bit.ly/1ZAQv6e

20 January 2015 - Pupils from 25 schools across Scotland are banding together for the next month to support malnourished children in Malawi or Pakistan.

The Scottish Government is supporting the Unicef Kid Power pilot, which will see approximately 1,000 P6 children across Scotland given a Unicef Kid Power fitness band to monitor their daily levels of exercise. 

The initiative encourages children to get active whilst helping to transform the lives of other children around the world. Children are awarded points for the steps they take and these points are then converted into funding, which is used by Unicef to help buy life-saving food for malnourished children in Pakistan or Malawi. Scotland is the first country to participate in the initiative outside of the USA.

Learning Minister Dr Alasdair Allan and Sport Minister Jamie Hepburn today visited Woodlands Primary School in Cumbernauld, one of the 25 schools taking part, to see Unicef Kid Power in action.

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, said:

“Kid Power is a great way of helping children learn about the world around them and seeing their hard work make a real difference. By not only giving children the power to save lives, but also nurturing their curiosity to learn about new cultures and addressing their need to connect with peers, Kid Power is delivering an experience that can sustain children’s attention and engagement over time.”

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, said:

“We want to see more young people getting involved in sport and over the next four weeks, an estimated 1,000 school pupils will be getting involved in the Kid Power initiative. I am delighted that Scotland is leading the way by being the first country outside of the USA to participate in this scheme. The more you participate, the more is invested, and every pupil taking part will help to make a difference. “

Mark Devlin, Chief Operating Officer at Unicef UK, said:

“Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of deaths of children under five and globally one in four children are stunted, which equates to around 159 million children worldwide. Unicef Kid Power seeks to address this issue by getting children to be part of the solution to end malnutrition by getting active themselves.”

“We are very pleased to be partnering with the Scottish Government on this initiative, which will not only benefit children in Scotland but will help ensure that every child gets the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and strong.”

Nicola Ferguson, Head Teacher at Woodlands Primary School, said:

“Kid Power has been a great way of encouraging the children to be more active both through planned physical activity and through their daily lives. This has benefited their own health and well-being while also allowing them to help other children who are in desperate need of food through the nutrition packs. The children are very enthusiastic about the programme and this is evident in their involvement in the lessons and their eagerness to have their points tallied up. The staff have gotten in on the act too with many of us doing extra trips up and down the stairs and even some sledging in the snow.

“This has been a very worthwhile pilot and we are keen to embed this within our work, we are already planning on how the rest of the classes can be involved once the initial pilot is over. As a level 2 Rights Respecting School this has strengthened our links with Unicef  and our commitment to the promotion of children’s rights which underpins the ethos and day to day work of our school.”

All the schools taking part in the pilot have been awarded the Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools Award which recognises achievement in putting children’s rights at the heart of a school’s practice and culture.

Notes for editors:

For further information please contact the Unicef UK Press Office on +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or media@unicef.org.uk 

The schools participating in the initiative are:

Ashley Road School, Aberdeen city; Riverbank, Aberdeen city; Busby Primary School, East Renfrewshire; Dean Park Primary, Edinburgh; Pathead Primary, Fife;  Blackfriars Primary School, Glasgow City; St. Paul's Primary, Glasgow City; St. Andrew's Primary, Inverclyde; Inverkip Primary, Inverclyde; Lady Alice Primary, Inverclyde; Newark Primary School, Inverclyde; St. Ninian's Primary, Inverclyde; Whinhill Primary School, Inverclyde; Kelburn Primary School, North Ayrshire; Dalry Primary School, North Ayrshire; Whitehirst Park Primary, North Ayrshire; Gateside Primary School, North Ayrshire; Beith Primary School, North Ayrshire; St. Gerard's Primary, North Lanarkshire; Woodlands Primary, North Lanarkshire; Barassie Primary School, South Ayrshire; Muirhead Primary, South Ayrshire; Udston Primary School, South Lanarkshire; Burgh Primary, South Lanarkshire; Milton Primary School, South Lanarkshire .

About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk