New entity addresses nutritional and holistic wellness of women

Mallika Janakiraman

Mallika Janakiraman

Auckland, February 8, 2022

Wahine Charitable Trust inspires and motivates behaviour change

 

Moment of truth as a grandparent: Mallika Janakiraman with her grandson Riaan Karthik (Photo Supplied)

 

Every good cause stem from inspiration and so was mine when I became a first-time grandmother.

In mid-April 2019, I was fortunate to be with my son and daughter-in-law to welcome their first child. It was an eye-opener to my professional learning and experience in maternal and infant nutrition.

It was an exciting journey over the next few months to see young women during their pregnancy and post-delivery. They were flooded with information, often influenced by the sentiments of social media with a possibility to miss the finer details, critical for making healthy lifestyle choices during the first 1000 days of life!

Added to this, came the pandemic and challenges of not having one’s family at times of need.

Moment of truth

The moment of truth and an opportunity to blend my passion with purpose led to the establishment of the Wahine Charitable Trust in 2021, with the support and help from inspiring women and organisations. It was a moment of truth and a reason to pursue excellence in achieving social and national goals.

Our guiding North Star is in the proverb, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate an entire nation.”

It is not a cliché, but the truth. Wahine will inspire the well-being of Her (wahine), her family (whanau) and her community (Hapori).

Our Purpose: As a not-for-profit, charitable trust, we vision ourselves to be the catalyst for motivating behaviour change, through healthy lifestyle choices that help women make Informed Decisions.

Our Promise: Together, we dream and go beyond to provide (a) Information to inspire (b) Programmes to personalise and (c) Experiences to empower.

Our Approach: (a) To design and implement programmes and services to nourish the mind and body (b) To partner with stakeholders and community organisations (c) To influence the influencers to frame specific policies and guidelines relevant to the ethnic population to whom we cater (d) Empower women through social enterprise in the area of food and nutrition

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

This is a famous proverb of Confucius, a famous Chinese philosopher.

This is interpreted as, “Not hearing is not as good as hearing, hearing is not as good as seeing, seeing is not as good as knowing, knowing is not as good as acting; true learning continues until it is put into action.”

Be informed and be inspired

At Wahine Charitable Trust, our programmes and services are inspired to inspire, and our mantra is, “Be Informed! Be Inspired!”

We do this best by conceptualising ideas using reliable and evidence-based nutrition information to address nutrition issues of importance and translate this through creative expressions in ways and forms that will inspire wahine wellbeing!

We make sure to keep the ethnic sensitivity and nutrition requirement of our target population while adapting to the nutrition guidelines outlined by the Ministry of Health.

Our areas of interest and priority include (1) Raising awareness on the critical window of opportunity during the first 1000 days of life (starting from conception of pregnancy to the second birthday of your child) (2) Emphasising the need for micronutrient nutrition and its role in hidden hunger through our expert panel discussions, social media and on-ground events. Each of our programmes has branded identity to motivate engagement.

Supporting Indian women

Yet another start at Wahine is a unique, personalised service to support ethnic Indian women in Auckland, as they welcome their bundle of joy into this world.

For the first time, our personalised nutrition service, “New Mama Meals – served with Love!” is available in the Auckland area.

Nutritious home-cooked vegetarian meals for the first ten days of post-delivery, free of cost (pickup only). This includes planning and preparation of meals with traditional wisdom at no cost. We promise that 50% of the new mama’s daily serves of vegetable food group and plant-based proteins are from the lentils and nuts food group.

Traditional recipes for two main meals (lunch and dinner) freshly home cooked to nourish the new mama in accordance with the nutrition guidelines for breastfeeding mothers by the Ministry of Health under the supervision of a team of Registered Nutritionists.

As Helen Keller, American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer said, “Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Wahine Charitable Trust partners with organisations to bring a holistic approach to nutrition.

Mallika Janakiraman is a Nutritionist with extensive global experience, having worked with international corporate giants. She is the Founder of Wahine Charitable Trust based in Auckland, where she lives with her husband.

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