Sabanci Foundation Provides Pre-School Nutrition Support For Mother Child Education Foundation Programs In Eastern And Southeastern Turkey

Sabanci Foundation is an active supporter of The Mother Child Education Foundation (ACEV) Nutrition Program which helps to meet the needs of pre-school aged children in Agri, Bitlis, Bingol, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Hakkari, Mardin, Mus, Sanliurfa and Van, Turkey’s least developed provinces. This project was developed as part of ACEV’s ‘Seven is Too Late’ campaign, which aims to increase the early childhood education attendance rate to one hundred percent, and raise public awareness about the vital importance of education received by children in the 0-6 age group. For more on the campaign please see Seven is too Late!

In Turkey, more than half of the population is below the age of 25. 1.4 million babies are born every year, and there are approximately 7 million children in the 0-6 age group. Turkey has one of the lowest rates in pre-school attendance among all middle- and low-income countries. Only approximately 21 percent of children in the 4 to 6 age group, and 32 percent in the 5 to 6 age group have access to pre-school institutions run by the Ministry of National Education or the Society for the Protection of Children.

The ages between 0 and 6 (early childhood) are peak ages for growth. Two-thirds of brain development takes place between the ages of 0-4. As such, nutrition and social/educational experiences gained during this period have critical affects for future brain function and growth. Keeping this in mind, ACEV expanded the ‘Seven is too Late’ project to address the critical needs of children’s nutritional needs at school. Specific goals of this initiative are to 1) support the nourishment of children with meals at school, especially in provinces where enrollment is lowest and 2) encourage families to send their children to free pre-school institutions with adequate daily food and nourishment means.

In addition to support from the Sabanci Foundation, the ACEV Nutrition Project receives support from the following companies: Eti, Finansbank, Dimes, Findik Tanitim Group, Nestle, Tetra Pak and Danone. Since the launch of the project, over 30.000 children have been provided with nutritional school meals.

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