The Healthy Home project of the Ministry of Health (MoH), a house which portrays how health begins at home, has been officially handed over to Minister Mitcy Larue by Eugene Vidot, one of the partners of Woodworks Unlimited, the company which built the house.
The idea of the ‘Healthy Home’ project was conceived by the Health of Our Nation Committee of that ministry last year as part of its vision for all Seychellois to attain the highest level of physical, social, mental, spiritual health and live in harmony with nature.
The committee believed that the best way to bring to life their 2015 campaign, ‘My Health, My Responsibility. Begin at Home’, was mounting a real home, complete with house and garden, where every room and every corner would display a health message to show how health truly begins in the home. It is also aimed at inspiring people to make their own home a healthier place and the National Day Show provided them with an opportunity to do just that.
Expressing her sincere appreciation to all partners for their spirit of partnership and collaboration towards the project, Minister Larue said their contribution is certainly a major factor in the success of the ‘Healthy Home’ project.
“You have all given the best of your services and talents to this project; the care and attention that you gave are clearly visible in the quality of the house, the garden, the furniture and the facilities that were on display during the expo,” she said.
As a project of this magnitude cannot of course be implemented by just a committee, partners from all sectors were sought for, who enthusiastically joined in.
Patricia Rene, chairperson of the committee, said she approached Denis Payette of Woodworks Unlimited who willingly accepted the idea and the ball started rolling.
Once the foundation was laid, it took only four weeks for Woodworks Unlimited to complete the house, and even less time for Land Waste Management Agency (LWMA) to design and set up a model garden.
Solar panels, electrical, water, telephone, furniture and kitchen appliances were similarly provided and installed by private companies.
“This is a very good example of teamwork and how we Seychellois entrepreneurs can get together to contribute towards a great cause, to serve the Seychellois community through the MoH,” said Mr Payette.
And in recognition of their valuable contributions, each sponsor was awarded a certificate of recognition by Minister Larue on the hand-over day.
The plan is for the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Health to have a joint venture whereby both partners will be making full use of the house to organise outreach programmes. The Ministry of Health will share responsibility for managing this resource with the NSC, building on a long-standing partnership and a shared vision of a healthy nation.
“The ‘Healthy Home’ project has been an amazing success, to judge from the wide participation of individuals and organisations, the interest of numerous visitors and from comments written in our Visitors’ Book,” said the committee, remarking that President Michel called it “An excellent initiative” while a child declared it “A fun experience”.
“We will continue to build on this success, for we know that the ultimate objective is for every single home in Seychelles to become a healthy home. We hope that we can count on your continued support and involvement in the Health of Our Nation movement,” added the committee.
What exactly does ‘Healthy Home’ offers or proposes to offer?
“Every room, every item and every corner of our garden demonstrates how we can make our home a healthier place. A place where we can enjoy family life and teach our children the values and behaviour that will enrich their lives,” explained Mrs Rene who then went on to describe all the rooms and added facilties of the home.
The kitchen is a place to promote healthy eating habits and our visitors to the home during the National Day Show had the opportunity to witness the preparation and enjoy the goodness of healthy breakfasts and snacks.
The lounge is a place for all members of the family to chat, share the day’s event, socialise and interact as a family. This is important for the mental health of the family.
The master bedroom is the place whereby issues related to family health, men’s and women’s health were displayed. It is also used to educate the public on the importance of safe keeping and proper usage of medicines.
The kid’s room, a place to emphasise the importance of play in learning and development, also provided a corner to promote reading and learning.
The universal bathroom provides access to all with an open shower that can be used by all, be it elderly or persons with disabilities. Grab bars have been installed to facilitate the process. Importance of good dental hygiene and dental care also formed part.
Fire safety is an important component of a healthy house, and this was taken care of by the Fire and Rescue services. Fire blanket, fire extinguisher, smoke detectors were installed.
Photovoltaic panels installed on the rooftop as well as energy saving bulbs to bring out the importance of energy saving.
The outside environment consists of a garden fitted with the needs of the whole family. Games, even traditonal ones like ‘Danm,’ promoting physical and mental activities for the family. There is also a corner in the garden for the adult members of the family to relax and meditate, grow one’s own vegetables, using ‘tartar‘ system (elevated on stilts) so as to protect one’s back and also to keep pests away.
There are also medicinal plants like gro bonm, sitronnel, lanmant, aloe vera, Bwa Zoli Ker etc. We all know the importance of such plants in our culture.
The ‘Healthy Home’ is just one of several projects in the 2015 campaign of the committee. A series of regional conferences, organised by multi-sector partners working in the districts, is bringing together people to examine issues relevant to the particular communities and to identify action that families can take to improve their health. They said these projects are aimed at informing, educating and empowering people to take responsibility for their health, with particular focus this year on actions that begin at home.
Healthy Home Partners
Woodworks Unlimited Pty Limited, A V Group, Bestway Plumbing, C&A Trading, Cable & Wireless, Fair Price Trading, Furniture Cave, Kannus Group, Land Waste Management Agency, Lucky Pal Construction, MEL Electricals, National Expo 2015, National Sports Council, Printhouse, Rose Belle Farm, Seychelles Energy Commission, Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services, Seychelles Trading Company, Shreeji CFonstruction, Skychef, Solar World, Sonnel Consultants, Sustainability for Seychelles, Union Roofing (Pty) Limited, World Health Organisation.