My Step Foundation launched the Promoting Healthy Lifestyles in Public Schools program
On May 27th, 2020 at the sports facility of Tandzut Secondary School My Step Foundation's Promoting Healthy Lifestyle in Public Schools program was launched by signing agreements between the Foundation and Tandzut and Aygeshat secondary schools. The program aims to promote physical education, popularize the culture of physical activity and healthy lifestyle, decrease non-communicable (NCDs) and communicable diseases (CDs), improve community life in communities.
The agreements envision the renovation and furnishing of sanitation, hygiene, and sports facilities of the schools, the capacity development of teachers of "Physical education" discipline and “Healthy Lifestyle” course, as well as the implementation of an awareness campaign on healthy lifestyle. The Foundation encourages voluntary involvement from both the school and the community residents in accomplishing program goals. Meanwhile, the main responsibility of the schools becomes the maintenance of the work done. According to the agreement, the beneficiaries of the program are schoolers of Tandzut (population: 2039) and Aygeshat (population: 1838) communities, staff members of the schools, as well as the families of direct beneficiaries and the communities.
The main partner of the My Step Foundation’s pilot project of Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle in Public Schools program in Aygeshat and Tandzut communities is the Izmirlian Foundation. The cooperation agreement between the two foundations was also signed today.
The My Step Foundation will also cooperate with Pyunik Football Club, specifically for the capacity development of the teachers and organization of sports events.
The event, during which the security measures in the period of the pandemic were observed, was attended by the spouse of RA Prime Minister, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the My Step and City of Smile Foundations Anna Hakobyan, Country Director of the Izmirlian Foundation Armen Chobanyan, Marketing Manager of Pyunik Football Club Vache Manukyan, teachers of Physical Education of Aygeshat and Tandzut schools Ghukas Gevorgyan and Voskehat Hovhannisyan.
The Executive Director of the My Step Foundation Hovhannes Ghazaryan, acknowledged in his opening speech: “A generation with a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy spirit is the core of a vibrant society. This is the generation to become the driving force behind the awakening and progress of the country. This is a generation that makes the impossible possible.
Obviously, the school environment has a primary role in the promotion of a healthy generation serving as a forge where an individual and a citizen are cultivated. Guided by this awareness we have developed the program promoting a healthy lifestyle in public schools. It aims at improving sanitation and physical education facilities, as well as encouraging healthy lifestyle behavior and promoting physical education as a discipline providing tools for personal development.”
Serious preparatory teamwork has been performed on the initial phase of this strategic program, including in-depth study and analysis of the problem, development of the solution scenarios, financial estimation, involvement of donors, etc. Our and our partners’ primary goal is to unite efforts for the achievement of a favorable and dignified school environment for our children and our future. ”
School principals also held speeches. The principal of Aygeshat school Mr. Sardaryan said: “The Aygeshat school building was built in 1959-1963. Unfortunately, the sports facility is way far from the required standards with a low ceiling. There are no sanitation and hygiene facilities inside the school building corresponding at least to the most basic requirements. Renovation works implemented in the 2000s bypassed the gym and sanitation facilities of the school.
The initiative of the My Step Foundation and its partners to renovate the gym, supply it with the required sports equipment, and build a sanitation facility inside the school building was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Both educators and students are filled with indescribable enthusiasm. We are looking forward to cooperating with the Foundation, to support the renovation with everything possible. Thank you to the staff of the My Step Foundation for this crucial initiative aiming at the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and physical education of the younger generation. Next year I am going to retire with a peaceful heart and urge the new director to preserve everything we have created today.”
Mr. Ayvazyan, the principal of Tandzut school, mentioned in his speech: “The Tandzut Secondary School was founded in 1958, ten years later the gym was built. Since 1976 the gym has never been renovated. I graduated from this school. My physical education classes took place in this same gym with the same equipment we have today. Back then the school used to be actively involved in the sports life of the country. We hope that this program initiated by the My Step Foundation will help us to restore the school's former success in sports. Renovation of the sports and sanitation facilities, first of all, appreciates the schooler - a full-fledged citizen of tomorrow. This program will not only help to develop children's physical fitness but also change their mentality. We are, in fact, the pioneers of the My Step Foundation's “Promoting Healthy Lifestyle in Public Schools” program. This makes us happy and obliges at the same time.”
The renovation and furnishing of the sanitation, hygiene and sports facilities of the secondary schools of Aygeshat and Tandzut communities pilot project marks the kick-off of a large scale program envisioning to upgrade school sanitation and sports facilities, to supply with required equipment and devices, to improve physical education standards, implement awareness-raising campaigns aiming at behavior change related to a healthy lifestyle and hygiene issues. As a result of these activities a model approach will be developed to be applied in other schools of Armenia, providing a domino effect. The developed model-project will be available for other schools, respective government agencies, and potential donors.
Along with the pilot program, an online tool for assessing the physical condition of school sanitation, hygiene and sports facilities is being developed. It will give an opportunity to select the beneficiary schools based on clearly identified needs and standards.