The South African Health Review (SAHR) has warned that South Africans, particularly those living in poorer urban communities, are at increased risk of chronic non-communicable diseases. Most of these diseases can be prevented, but if they are not addressed, can lead to many chronic illnesses including stroke, heart attack, tobacco-related cancers, nutrition-induced cancers and obstructive lung disease.
Khethi Ngwenya, owner and managing director of SchoolMedia (an in school media placement and advertising company) is working in partnership with the National Association of School Governing Bodies and has access to a network of over 9 000 schools nationwide. Ngwenya aims to expose the youth to a more healthy and active lifestyle.
“We believe that children need to positively contribute to our future economy. Children are vulnerable at an early age and become exposed to drugs. Additionally, living a balanced lifestyle is not top of their priorities and SchoolMedia feels this needs to be tackled by spreading positive messages,” Ngwenya explains.
The reason why healthy lifestyle choices are not always a priority is that there is a shortage of information, equipment and facilities in many schools, says Ngwenya. “This leaves the majority of the school learners disinterested and bored, which negatively effects their education and future. It also leads to them making bad lifestyle choices like smoking.”
In an effort to curb this trend, SchoolMedia is supplying equipment to schools. Ngwenya says it’s an opportunity for brands to get involved with the youth because they have seen that schools cannot do it alone on their “shoe string” budgets.
“These new products will benefit students by allowing them to be more energetic and creates a platform to share valuable information about being active and healthy. Corporates and individuals are now able to purchase soccer posts, which have ample space for branding. The schools get the equipment and the learners are able to use them. Corporates will get captive exposure daily,” he explains.
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