The charitable organization is also hoping to use wearables to help to combat malnutrition in kids.
UNICEF has made a move into wearable technology that has surprised many people around the world, as the launch of its Kid Power program has involved distributing high tech fitness bands to thousands of kids in schools across the United States.
The reason that UNICEF has made this move into wearables for kids has two separate but connected purposes.
According to U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Caryl Stern, “One in four American kids is underactive -they’re little couch potatoes. And one in four children around the world has some level of malnourishment, and so we are trying to get the kids who are underactive healthy and active.” Stern explained that the kids who received the wearable technology devices have been challenged to boost their activity levels. Their fitness bands track their daily steps, like pedometers, but they can then swipe their bands to synch with the program’s website each day so that they can track their own progress.
The kids are encouraged to reach at least 12,000 recorded on their wearable technology each day.
In order to provide an incentive to hit that minimum goal, UNICEF has arranged to have its sponsors donate a nutrition pack to a child suffering from malnutrition, somewhere else in the world. In this way, the program has twofold benefits. While boosting the regular exercising among children in the United States, it also brings the issue of childhood malnutrition from around the world into the classroom curriculum. Kids learn about how to live more active lifestyles while they discover how fortunate they really are in terms of accessibility of nutritious foods.
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This helps to open the eyes of schoolchildren to the plight of kids, just like them, but who live in other countries that have experienced various levels of disaster and devastation. It gives them the ability to help themselves, and it empowers them to help someone else at the same time.
For the kids wearing these wearable technology fitness trackers, it can give them education, motivation, and inspiration, as well as the feeling of pride for having made a difference.