By The Nation
A mobile exposition will travel across the country offering parents guidance on three critical elements to nurturing care – appropriate and nutritious food, play and stimulation, and love and protection.
A first for Southeast Asia, the campaign is an example of the power of partnership for good. Building on Central Group’s solid relationships with its customers and national presence, the travelling exhibition will give parents, caregivers, family members, business owners and other decision makers the opportunity to learn more about early childhood and to have fun in the process.
“The expo is highly engaging and provides visitors with critical information, based on recent neuroscience, on how babies’ brains develop and what they need to develop to their full potential,” says Central Group chairman Suthichai Chirathivat.
Unicef Thailand representative Thomas Davin says the first six years of a child’s life are critical. Brain cells can make up to 1,000 new connections every second – faster than at any other time in a child’s life.
“This period presents a unique window of opportunity to lay a strong foundation for a child’s lifelong development, health and happiness,” Davin says. “A lack of nurturing care or protection from stress and violence, inadequate nutrition, or too little stimulation and learning can impede the development of the brain, with life-long negative consequences.”
At the campaign launch, singer-songwriter Trai “Boy” Bhumirat – designated the #EatPlayLove campaign hero – performed a song specially written for the project titled “Every Day I Love You”. It encourages parents and caretakers to provide their children with the best possible start in life.
High-profile supporters on hand included Unicef Thailand Goodwill Ambassador Anand Panyarachun, and Friends of Unicef Vanessa Race and Pachara Chirathiwat, who urged that every child in Thailand have equal opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.
According to a 2016 survey by the National Statistical Office with support from Unicef, one child in 10 under age five is physically stunted due to poor nutrition over an extended period of time.
Parental engagement with young children was found to be low, especially among fathers, with only one in three dads “fully engaged” with their children’s activities that promote learning and development.
Almost eight in 10 children ages one to 14 had been subjected to physical or psychological abuse.
The mobile exposition rolled out of Central Plaza Lat Phrao and will be on the road for nine months, through mid-November.
Look for it at Central Plaza Nakhon Rachasima, Central Westgate, Central Festival Samui, Central Festival Chiang Mai, Central Plaza Khon Kaen, Central Plaza Bangna, Central Festival Pattaya, Central Festival Eastville and Central World.
Find out more at www.Unicef.or.th/eatplaylove and see the “Every Day I Love You” video at www.YouTube.com/unicefthailand.