Programme empowers youth to become Fast Heroes

In a heartening initiative to harness the innate learning potential of children and strengthen intergenerational bonds, the Fast Heroes programme has emerged as a beacon of stroke awareness in South African primary schools.

Developed internationally by the University of Macedonia with support from the Angels Initiative, this innovative programme leverages the unique relationship children share with their grandparents to instill vital knowledge about stroke recognition and emergency response.

Fast Heroes is specifically designed for primary school learners, aiming to capitalise on the natural enthusiasm for learning that young minds possess. The programme unfolds over a 5-week period, with each week dedicated to a key aspect of stroke awareness represented by the acronym FAST: Face, Arms, Speech, and Time. These engaging lessons introduce characters whose stories vividly illustrate the impact of strokes, making the learning experience both informative and memorable.

The programme’s success is evident in its growing adoption across South Africa, with a total of 81 schools currently registered on the Angels platform. The participating schools span across the Western Cape, Gauteng, Free State, KZN, and Limpopo. Since its implementation in the second half of 2023, 22 new schools have joined, and nearly 2000 children have actively participated in the programme. Two successful webinars have further fuelled interest, resulting in immediate sign-ups from enthusiastic educators.

Fast Heroes relies on a multifaceted approach to convey its messages to children, utilising animation, e-books, videos, songs, and workbooks. The curriculum, spanning one hour per week for five weeks, ensures a comprehensive understanding of stroke signs and the appropriate emergency response, all at no cost to participating schools.

Image provided by the Fast Heroes Programme

The impact of Fast Heroes extends beyond the classroom, garnering praise from educators and healthcare professionals alike. Dr. De Vries Basson from Karl Bremer Hospital, Western Cape, commends the programme’s potential to create a united front against strokes and chronic lifestyle diseases. Teacher Deidre de Lange from Dalpark Primary, Gauteng, highlights the programme’s popularity among students, emphasising its potential to fortify collective efforts against stroke.

Wendy Freitas from Loreto School Queenswood underscores the programme’s versatility, applauding its modern approach and its ability to thrive even in the face of challenges such as load-shedding.

To date, an impressive 11,677 South African children have participated in Fast Heroes, marking a significant stride toward building a generation equipped to combat strokes and champion a healthier future.

Keep an eye on our social media pages, Facebook and Instagram, to find out when our next webinar will be hosted. Schools can join these webinars for an introduction to FAST Heroes.

To learn more about this life-changing campaign or to register, visit their website.

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