Building a better future begins now, through creating the support structures that help the next generation start off on the right foot.
One way to do this is by ensuring that children get the essential care they need to grow up strong and healthy.
Energy company ExxonMobil is playing its part in building this better future by supporting people who are making a difference on the frontlines.
In India, ExxonMobil is actively helping to refurbish rural child-care centers, locally known as anganwadis. Recently, a number of anganwadis in the nation’s south were overhauled as part of a project backed by the company.
These anganwadis were first developed as part of the Indian government’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program, which supports the health, nutritional and pre-education needs of rural children till they are six years old.
However, many of these centers are in need of repair and improvement, requiring access to proper sanitation facilities and drinking water.
The government launched a program – the Saksham Anganwadi Scheme – to upgrade some 250,000 anganwadis across the country. Many NGOs have also stepped up to help achieve this goal.
ExxonMobil is supporting this program by helping charity organisations like United Way to refurbish anganwadis across the state of Karnataka.
The refurbishment includes construction of sanitation facilities, new floors and additional rooms, such as new kitchens.
“We have had a great partnership with ExxonMobil for years,” Rajesh Krishnan, executive director for United Way of Bengaluru said.
“Their support for this project will help create a child-centric learning environment, leading to a rise in early education enrolments.”
For the last few years, the company has also supported NGO Habitat for Humanity’s ongoing initiative to build sanitation units for government schools in Karnataka. This year, it will focus on public schools in and around Whitefield in Bengaluru.
“Children need an enabling environment, especially in their early years, to achieve their full potential. So we are backing projects that support their health and development needs. It’s all about giving the next generation a brighter future,” said Naveen Shukla, Director, ExxonMobil Services & Technology Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru.
ExxonMobil is also participating in similar efforts in Indonesia, supporting the youngest generation during their most vulnerable time. Their support is helping toddlers overcome malnourishment in poorer regions of the country.
Malnourishment at such an early age can lead to serious impacts, such as stunted growth and development. Almost half of children’s deaths under the age of five are linked to undernutrition, while in Indonesia, 3 out of 10 children under the age of five have stunted growth due to malnutrition.
Partnering with local non-governmental organisation IDFOS and the industry’s upstream regulator SKK Migas, ExxonMobil Indonesia has provided medical equipment and implemented a program designed to ensure toddlers in the country’s Bojonegoro region have the right start in life.
This program is modelled on the Positive Deviance approach, supporting health cadres and midwives to observe and replicate positive behaviours from poor families in similar circumstances who had well-nourished children. They practice these behaviours to address children’s malnourished conditions as well as teaching communities how to properly provide locally-sourced healthy food for children. These nutrition-focussed programs were then followed up with home visits.
After only four months, the program had noticeable positive effects on participating toddlers, with all recording healthy weight gains.
ExxonMobil is not just providing the power needed to fuel the future, but is also helping experts across Asia provide the right foundation and energy for the next generation so those children can have the best start in life.