Karnival Kesihatan (Health Carnival) is an initiative by Petaling Jaya, P105, Member of Parliament Ms. Maria Chin Abdullah to give the B40 group of Malaysians in her constituency, access to good and affordable health care. Her proposal was to have the Health Carnival once a month on the last Sunday of each month at various areas in Petaling Jaya that had been identified with the highest numbers of residents in the B40 economic band, which is considered the poorest in the country.
The first carnival was held in the community field of the low-cost flats in Lembah Subang. During the post-mortem, the organizing committee observed that many of the B40 residents that attended the carnival had health problems related to unhealthy eating habits and high consumption of unhealthy foods such as sugar, oil and processed foods. It was then suggested that in addition to the various medical related booths that provided services during the carnival, there was a need for a booth or workshop to educate the adults and children from B40 families on healthy eating habits and consuming less harmful foods and more nutritious foods.
Therefore, Taylor’s Culinary Institute (TCI) became involved in this Health Carnival. Four (4) Lecturers from TCI together with 20 students from various faculties volunteered their time for the second carnival which was held at the multipurpose hall of Masjid Jumhuriah.
Two workshops were conducted by the TCI F&B and Chef Lecturers. The first was a nutritious food demonstration by Chef Azuralisda Mohd Ghazali and Chef Nur Syirin Binti Mohd Said. Together with their student helpers from Taylor's, they conducted hourly workshops to teach the women of B40 families on how to prepare healthy and nutritious food. Ms. Jasmine Chen Yar Li and Mr. Rueben Suresh Arthur, Food & Beverage (F&B) Lecturers from TCI, conducted the second workshop aimed at kids. Ms. Jasmine came up with games to teach the kids the danger of consuming too much sugar, oil and processed foods. She organized coloring exercises and she also created a 4-page bilingual booklet that children could fill up or color and take home as a resource booklet.
Around 450 people attended the carnival and TCI was pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the 2nd Karnival Kesihatan. The lecturers and students gained much insights on how to improve future awareness workshops and the plight of B40 group. TCI hopes to participate more such carnivals in future to help in changing and improving the lives of the B40 households as this is in line with Taylor's Impact Lab on Eradicating Poverty.