U.S. Government Kicks Off School Milk Day Events

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 21, 2013 – The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), today kicked off the first of 14 events known as “School Milk Days” at the Wushawushign Primary School in the Amhara Region.  The purpose of these events is to increase the awareness and knowledge of school age children, parents, and teachers about milk.

Stressing nutrition and the benefits of milk to normal growth and development, the underlying message of this public affairs campaign is that boiled or pasteurized milk is healthy for you, and one only has to bring milk to a rapid boil in order to make it safe.  Schools participating in the 14 events will receive information packets prepared in local languages, T-shirts, and teachers’ guides.  These materials emphasize the importance of drinking boiled or pasteurized milk in a fun and entertaining manner designed to resonate with youth.

“School Milk Day is a great way to remind children and adults alike of the importance and benefits of drinking milk,” said USAID Ethiopia Mission Director Dennis Weller.  “Through this campaign, we hope that people will learn more about milk and its nutritional benefits, which is important for healthy growth.”

World Milk Day is celebrated in many countries in the world in the month of September. It is a fun-filled day of activities that highlight the health and nutritional benefits of milk and milk products to children and adults. Since September 2000, the event has grown to become an annual celebration in more than 40 countries around the world including Ethiopia.  This year, USAID is facilitating the events at a total of 14 schools in the Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray regions.

This public affairs campaign also reinforces the goals of the USAID Agricultural Growth Program–Livestock Market Development project which in turn advances President’s Feed the Future initiative.  An increase in consumption of local dairy products by the next generation of Ethiopians will not only improve their nutrition but also advance the country’s economic development.