Focus on Food: Who We Are and What We Do

Today we celebrated Universal Children’s Day at UWCSEA East. There were a number of events taking place to help celebrate and raise awareness for the partners of Friends of Fiji, Green Umbrella, and Jakarta Street Kids GC’s. These three GC’s came together to organise a Readathon where students (and teachers) were encouraged to come by the 5th floor, make a donation (books or money), write a story about literacy, and of course, read. At lunch, the GC’s set up their stalls to raise further awareness amongst the UWCSEA community. My focus group, Focus on Food, was also involved in this event, helping to raise money for the Blue Dragon GC, and I am happy to say that we were able to raise just over $100, of which 100% was donated to Blue Dragon.

Just some of the amazing students of Focus on Food!

Focus on Food began as a very small focus group just a few years ago. Our purpose is to increase the understanding of how food affects our health, animals, and the environment. We try to promote a plant-based diet without sounding preachy. Mainly, we discuss topics surrounding nutrition and the sustainability of food. We are all passionate about how to make healthier food choices and we want to share our ideas with the UWCSEA community. Our intention is not to “convert” anyone to become vegetarian or vegan; rather, we want to educate people to make better choices about the food they eat.

Look at all that yummy plant-based food!

Last year, my friend and colleague Mairin Raisdana joined me as a supervisor; together, we have been supporting a budding group of teenagers as they question how food choices can affect their overall health as well as the environment. Today’s event helped to show people that plant-based eating is not just about leafy green salads. We had chocolate fudge brownies (vegan), puffed rice treats with chocolate chips (vegan), guacamole (vegan), pita bread (vegan), tortilla crisps (vegan), as well as hummus (also vegan). According to students, the food was very tasty; in fact, many of them couldn’t tell that the food didn’t contain any egg or dairy products!

I am very proud of our Focus on Food students who worked hard to help support today’s event. When I saw them this afternoon, they looked happy and engaged. I watched from afar as they answered questions and dished out the delicacies. Our next event will hopefully be a movie screening where we can raise even more awareness about how the food we eat can affect the health of our bodies, the lives of animals, and the environment in general. Watch this space for upcoming events!

If you are interested in learning more about our focus group, please contact me at or Mairin at We will be sure to pass your messages along to our students.

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