IYDE’s Consciously Healthy Program – Sahtain
Who are we?
The Institute of Youth Development and Excellence (IYDE) envisions a world where every youth has access to a trained qualified adult mentor. IYDE mission is to assist communities in developing increased capacity to establish and maintain youth development programs, based on mentorship and positive character development.
In 2012 IYDE launched their Consciously Healthy Program, an exciting new health education program with a goal to create environments and experiences that directly address risky health behaviors in youth, so as to educate, enlighten and inspire long-term positive health behavioral change. The programs are not only designed to address health topics in a unique fashion, but we also challenge attendees to take home what they have learned and apply it in their daily lives, as well as give advocacy project ideas for those inspired to change others. The program is targeted to parents and youth, mentoring families to improve their diets for better health and well-being.
The Consciously Healthy Program covered several health topics, and each one was pilot tested for programming and content. The most successful, food related chronic disease (e.g. obesity), was revised and a second pilot test began November 2014 with approximately 20 families. With the program ending in November 2015, we have seen great changes in the enrolled families and want to scale up to the next phase: enrolling 100 individuals for 1 year in the program across the country. Once complete, the income from this program will enable us to launch nationally and offer the program to thousands of families per year around the country.
What is Sahtain & How Will the Program Work?
The Sahtain program came about from the worrying obesity epidemic that is plaguing the world including the shocking statistic that our children’s generation will not outlive their parents due to the increase rates of childhood obesity. The statistics look even worse among Muslims populations. The top 5 most obese countries in the world as of 2014 are Arab countries. Some of the highest diabetes rates are among Muslim populations. Why is this happening? The problem is lifestyle, and so the solution is a lifestyle change! But what lifestyle? With so much misinformation and confusion out there on diets and nutrition, it’s times like this that you have to return back to the Sunnah. Alhamdulilah,our Prophet (pbuh) guided us with principles of how to eat and drink so that our bodies can heal themselves for the betterment of our health and gaining the pleasure of Allah. IYDE put this program together to give people clarity on how to eat and drink better, improve your health, feel better and more conscious about what you are eating and drinking.
The guidance of this program was taken from the wisdom and recommendations of Hakim Archuletta and will be featured in the Sahtain program. After converting to Islam in 60’s, he began a lifelong journey studying medicine in the Islamic tradition, studying with various teachers before earning himself the title “Hakim” or traditional Islamic doctor. Refer to the following link to get a video introduction to Hakim Arculetta.
The program works in the following way:
- An individual signs up to the program via our website by signing a policy and procedure form, filling out a survey and optionally providing their vital statistics (e.g. blood pressure, blood sugar etc.) to track specific improvement.
- Enrolled participants are then given access to watch informational, motivational and instructional videos that provide details about the program, diet, food, and important changes to improve health.
- Participants are assigned to a food mentor who helps them decide on their personal goals for the year and then follows up weekly to encourage and overcome challenges. A one time pantry clean-out is also provided by the food mentor and a flexible list of achievable goals to transition them into the new lifestyle change.
- After one year is completed, new vital statistics are taken and compared to show specific improvements in their health.
Why a Food Mentor?
Change is hard. Changing our desires of the stomach is even harder. The fact is, most people if given the choice will not change their dietary habits. Why? For 3 main reasons:
- not emotionally engaged enough
- too much risk (e.g. too expensive, too much effort, too much time etc.)
- no assistance or network of people who are also committed to change
The first two barriers to change will be addressed through the videos, sending the participant on an emotional journey to inspire change. The last barrier is conquered through the follow-up of the food mentor by helping with goal setting, providing advice, brainstorming strategies to help achieve goals etc. Our expertise is mentoring, and we mentor our participants to empower themselves to follow a healthier lifestyle that will benefit them and their families, so that after a year is completed they will be able to maintain what we have taught them.
What We Need Help With
In order to roll out this program nationally and be able to mentor thousands of individuals and families, we need to raise $7,000 for the following items:
- video editing for core content
- extra filming where necessary
- website design
“Sahtain” is an Arabic expression after serving food which literally means “2 health.” Our hope for those adopting the Sahtain lifestyle is that their physical wellbeing is improved, as well as their spiritual wellbeing, feeling energized, emotionally sound and more cognizant with Allah. Please donate generously and help 100s of people this year achieve a healthier state Allah will be proud of.