Health Organisation for Life HOL is a Nottingham registered community-based organisation born out of the quest for raising awareness on healthy living through the food we consume and how to balance it with health and wellbeing. The awareness further stretches to not only giving information on what kind of food we should eat but how we can cultivate the crops.
Essentially, HOL covers three important areas which have a direct impact on our lives. These areas are nutrition and disease awareness, agronomics and entrepreneurship, and physical wellbeing and education. HOL aims to play a pivotal role in Post-COVID-19 by availing people the opportunity to engage into a new and meaningful way of living through the above-mentioned areas of intervention.
In the area of health, HOL conducts awareness and sensitisation campaigns through workshops/seminars, community conversations (both face-to-face and online), drop-In sessions and newsletters and leaflets within vulnerable communities. This initiative aims to keep people abreast of balance diet and what types of food do they need to boost the immune system of the body. HOL believes that the rise in diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, gout and other discomforting disease like gastritis among others, comes from eating habits; some could be genetic though. By providing the public with the right dietary information, will save more lives as well as positively impact on our mental stability and confidence. HOL works with dieticians and health professionals in providing the most needed information for our communities.
The slogan “eat what you grow and grow what you eat”, serves as our mantra to a healthy living for all. HOL encourages the participation of everyone, regardless of age, to get into agriculture. A day in the farms or gardens improves our mental wellbeing and not only that, but it also avails us the opportunity to keep our connection with nature. HOL is negotiating in acquiring a vast land for agricultural purposes with the objective of engaging and encouraging volunteers into agricultural ventures. This initiative promotes the notion of eating what you grow and other forms of entrepreneurship. Members of the community will be led to field trips where they will take part in some farming and tree planting exercises with the view to helping in growing what we eat. The entrepreneurial aspect is to generate income through the sales of the produce which would be ploughed back to the community in the form of remuneration for workers and community projects aimed at bettering their lives.
The education aspect of HOL is to inculcate knowledge in the community. Within the organisation of HOL, there are educationists who are formulating a training scheme targeting community leaders as trainers and school children as household trainers. The community leaders with be equipped with all the prerequisites to train members of their communities on healthy living. They will not only be trained by educationists but by dieticians and health professionals in the areas of healthy and balanced diet, first aid, mental health among other salient areas. The reason for training young children/students is to impart basic knowledge in them which they will in turn transmit to their families, friends and classmates. Other forms of education include information dissemination through books, pamphlets, posters, and newsletters. There will be visits to schools and inter-school quiz/debate competitions based on topics relating to healthy living will be held and lucrative prices will be contested by students from different schools.
Physical wellbeing is not just the absence of disease. It includes lifestyle behaviour choices to ensure health, avoid preventable diseases and conditions, and to live in a balanced state of body, mind, and spirit. Under this category, HOL will be organising open sporting activities across Nottingham. Family fun days will be organised quarterly with exception to holiday periods. In the summer periods when schools are closed and children would want to engage with physical activities, HOL will be organising both indoor and outdoor events for children and parents alike to have fun through musical but physical activities and other sporting activities. HOL also aims to compliment the government’s effort in tackling obesity. Obesity is mostly caused by unbalanced diet thus amplifying the need for the promotion and support of the HOL initiative. HOL also believes that an active community transcends into a healthy one and in order to tackle obesity, the campaign for healthy eating and physical activities should be aggressive.
In light of promoting such an initiative, HOL will be officially launching the organisation in April of 2021 (subject to the defeat of the COVID – 19). People of valued expertise in the areas of health and nutrition, agriculture and entrepreneurship, education, sports and wellbeing; are encouraged to join and help our communities live healthier life. This project will be replicated in The Gambia and eventually in other African countries and volunteers are solicited and ideas welcomed. Evidently, this is a worthwhile initiative but requires a lot of support. HOL solicits the generosity and support of people, government and non-government organisations.