In Indonesia – She’ll grow into it

By Joel Spicer, President and CEO

A small leadership group of adolescent girls in West Java, Indonesia share what they dream of becoming.

A small leadership group of adolescent girls in West Java, Indonesia share what they dream of becoming.

I came to Indonesia to officially launch Right Start – a Nutrition International program supported by Canada in 9 countries in Africa and Asia focused on improving nutrition for millions of adolescent girls, women, newborns and young children. Ahead of the launch we went to a school in Karawang, West Java and met with 900 adolescent girls enthusiastically participating in the ‘Healthy, Beautiful and Smart – Against Anaemia’ campaign.

As part of Right Start Indonesia, these girls are taking weekly iron and folic acid and having discussions on nutrition. The supplements and ― equally importantly ― the information and education they receive lay the foundation for healthy choices throughout their lives.

I met with a small leadership group of girls to talk about nutrition, health and life. I asked them what they wanted to be, what they dreamed of becoming ― something I have done on numerous visits around the world.

Here, I heard answers like diplomat, metallurgist, designer, and president. It was inspiring. Our communications materials talk about ‘unlocking potential and possibility’ and other kinds of positive messages, but nothing could communicate the purpose of our work in nutrition better than the hope, drive and potential I saw on the faces of these strong girls with big dreams ― and every chance of achieving them.

A few weeks ago, Nutrition International launched the #ShellGrowIntoIt campaign to draw attention to the importance of good nutrition in unlocking a girl’s potential and empowering her to grow, learn, earn and lead. Today, I saw the promise of that campaign on the hopeful faces of girls that will be changing our world.  We need more of them, and with good nutrition for all as a basic ingredient, they’ll grow into whatever they want to be.

Spicer Joel headshot

Joel Spicer

President and CEO

Joel Spicer, President and CEO, oversees Nutrition International as an established leader in global health, an innovator, visionary, and a Canadian with significant experience in international development that cuts across borders, sectors and agencies. He has an MPH in International Health (Health Policy and Management), and an M.Sc. in Development Studies. Joel joined Nutrition International in 2014. In September 2016, he received the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Emerging Public Health Professional Award.

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