Country, Date of election
Márta Bácskai is dislodging the current methodology to change the way holistic, child-centered health education is delivered to children and their families. She is targeting children, parents and pre-school teachers with a unique and comprehensive prevention program to encourage children to become conscious about their health and enable them to take charge of their life.
In the opinion of Márta Bácskai, the biggest problem is the total lack of a comprehensive preventive program that would handle child development in a complex way. For her, it’s very important that her program be based on prevention, so that she can begin dealing with the children’s physical and mental development simultaneously.
Until today, nearly 1600 pre-schools have joined the Go Healthy! Program. Every year they get the Go Healthy bags in which children, parents and pre-school teachers can find information, advice and aids towards kids’ healthy development. About 55 thousand of these bags are distributed yearly all around the country. This means that they reach 70% of pre-school children. The program includes organizing Health Days, art workshops, tea parties, camping and family days regularly, so the children who finish pre-school are less anxiety prone and more confident and happy.
First, to build an effective, working program, Márta had to think through how to define the meaning of ’health’ as she herself interprets it. The answer was the program’s 7 pillars, which offer children guidance in nutrition, physical health care and environmental awareness among others. Márta’s and her co–workers’ aim was to create a concrete model that children can fully identify with. To achieve this, they created a special program based on the activities which children actually engage in as part of their everyday life. This way the information and interactive experience are passed on to them by these activities, for instance games, stories, puppets, music, handicrafts.
Márta wishes to open the first Go Healthy! pre–school that would function as a model and source of inspiration for future similar institutions. Furthermore she would like to see the idea of Go Healthy! developing and becoming a format which could be used by those pre–schools that are partially practicing her model, whether in its ideology or in its methods.
To establish the Go Healthy! Program, Márta was enormously helped by her own experiences. In her childhood years, Márta suffered from obesity, which resulted in her becoming a timid child with no self–confidence. With her program, she would like to give children the opportunity to be themselves and to become well–balanced, confident adults. To become a person who knows what is good for him or her and with this knowledge he or she will be able to take responsibility for others as well.