WesternCape on Wellness raises awareness of #PlantBasedFood
February 19, 2021
WoW! (WesternCape on Wellness), the award-winning Western Cape Government Department of Health partnership programme, recognizes that eating more plant-based food is protective against chronic disease. With help from ProVeg South Africa and partners, WoW! is dedicating the month of February to raising awareness about #PlantBasedFood and encouraging community members to create authentic South African plant-based recipes.
The Western Cape Wellness Crisis
Up to a quarter of the disease burden in the Western Cape can be attributed to chronic non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol, diabetes and certain cancers. These diseases occur largely as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle and cannot be passed from one person to the other.
Many chronic non-communicable diseases are in part preventable by eliminating the risk factors of excessive alcohol use, long-term use of tobacco products, physical inactivity, consumption of foods high in sugar, salt, fat as well as low in fibre, fruit and vegetable intake.
The Award-Winning Partnership Programme
WoW! (WesternCape on Wellness) was launched in 2015 in response to the chronic disease epidemic. It is a dynamic, holistic and evolving partnership programme of the Western Cape Government Department of Health. Empowered through diverse partnerships, WoW! works alongside government entities, academia, private and nonprofit organisations to deliver well-rounded programmes and activities, and to upskill communities.
The Wellness Champions are the heart of WoW!, and they function as a network of Leaders who co-create wellness-enabling environments. This diverse range of passionate individuals from Western Cape Government worksites (including healthcare facilities), households, communities and schools, have been trained as unpaid volunteer Wellness Champions. The number of trained Wellness Champions increased from 72 in 2015 to 608 in 2019.
Through a range of activities, WoW! addresses levels of health knowledge (LEARN!), the choices we make about how we live each day (LIVE!), the types of food we eat and drink (EAT!) and how often we engage in physical activity (PLAY!). In recognition of its significant contributions to public health WoW! received the PHILA Annual Achievement Award from the Public Health Association of South Africa (2017) and a Gold Award for Public Service Innovation from the Western Cape Government (2018).
WoW! educates hundreds of community members about plant-based diets
WoW! recognizes that eating more plant-based foods is protective against chronic noncommunicable diseases. In 2018, a collaboration between Green Monday SA, Ubuntu Wellness Academy and the University of the Western Cape, created a new 5-day Healthy Plant-Based Cooking Train-the-Trainer Course.
The course was offered to 15 existing Community Wellness Champions, who qualified as WoW! Plant-Based Cooking Trainers following successful completion of the course (Group 1). They then returned to their respective communities and each trained 10 community members in plant-based cooking (Group 2). The 100 people trained in Group 2 each offered plant-based cooking information and recipes to a further 10 community members (Group 3). At the end of the course, a total of 1110 participants were equipped with knowledge and skills about animal ethics, plant-based eating, meal preparation and more.
ProVeg SA partners with WoW! To deliver #PlantBasedFood February
At the end of 2020, WoW! partnered with ProVeg South Africa and Veganuary to encourage their community to pledge vegan for the month of January. This partnership gave participants access to a free 30-day educational email campaign that supports their transition to a fully plant-based diet.
Continuing with the partnership, WoW! dedicated the month of February to health promotion and community engagement around the topic of #PlantBasedFood. ProVeg SA worked closely with WoW! to create a four-week educational campaign hosted on social platforms, Whatsapp & Facebook. Other partners of the #PlantBasedFood campaign include Physicians Association for Nutrition South Africa, UBUNTU & UCT’s SHAWCO.
During the month of February, WoW! will share basic educational information about a plant-based diet every Monday. On Wednesdays, WoW! will feature healthy plant-based recipes created by Chef Cola, also known as African Vegan on a Budget. On Fridays, WoW! will share fitness tips that fit with the theme of using the outdoors and keeping the environment healthy.
This will be running alongside a recipe drive for authentic, budget-friendly plant-based recipes. Community members are encouraged to submit a recipe and stand an opportunity to win one of four healthy plant-based hampers with sponsored products from Food Lover’s Market, Wellness Warehouse, PhytoPro and WoW! branded products.
Get involved with WoW!
Learn more about WesternCape on Wellness at www.westerncape.gov.za/wow
Join their community via Facebook WoW! WesternCape on Wellness, or via Whatsapp by adding 0663906646, send: Join WoW + Name & Surname