Jamaican, 9, to launch kits to keep kids clean, healthy


Jamaican, 9, to launch kits to keep kids clean, healthy

Sunday, December 23, 2018

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WHAT started as a set of curious hygiene-related questions from her friends has led nine-year-old Kailee Coombs to launch a set of kits to help protect children.

The bubbly Kailee is set to launch a convenient kit to encourage children to be clean and healthy at all times.

Her kits, according to a recent release, will tie into a global mandate that encourages proper health and sanitation in line with the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Branded the Kai Kit for Kids, the nine-year-old indicates that the idea came to her when her mother Shanoy Coombs gifted her with her very own hygiene kit, which included a sanitary napkin and a discussion about how some little girls begin their periods as early as eight years old.

She indicated that her friends were curious about why she had such a kit and, after explaining to them, she advised her family that she wanted to create a kit for all kids to keep them clean and healthy.

“Children need to have ways to protect their health wherever they go, because you never know when stuff will happen,” she is quoted as saying in the release.

“Imagine that you are at school and you have a messy situation. You can always reach into your Kai Kit for one of the many things that will help you be clean and healthy,” Kailee continued.

To be marketed as a kit for both girls and boys, the release said Kai Kit for Kids will include general health and sanitation items, with some items specific to boys, others specific to girls.

While Kailee has not disclosed the exact products for the kit, her parents Shanoy and Kmar Coombs are keen to highlight that the Kai Kit goes way beyond the products.

“The Kai Kit for Kids is much more than the products. It is specifically designed to change behaviours and to make children feel more comfortable about their personal health and sanitation practices. It is about changing their behaviours as is relates to basics such as hand-washing and more complex issues such as body odour,” noted Kmar.

Her mother was quick to add that she was thrilled with the concept and more so how it ties in what several global behaviour change campaigns are doing.

“When she shared her idea, I was mind-blown. After all, this is the sort of issues that have been on the agenda at several global social and behaviour change conferences... To then have my own child propose a business idea like this was all together amazing. Frankly, it ties into global thematic areas such as SDG 3, which focuses on good health and well being; SDG 6, which focuses on water and sanitation; and will have some spillovers for SDG 12, which focuses on responsible consumption and production.

“Notably, her kit has the potential to truly protect children from many illnesses such as hand, foot and mouth disease and the common cold/flu,” she continued.

According to the release, as to next steps, meetings are afoot with several local stakeholders and Kailee has also shared demo kits with a supportive audience at the recent Vision Children's market in Kingston.

In line with her current requests, the release said her present team includes her parents, grandmother Juliet Hill-Harris —who makes the pouches, and her godfather Garfield Barclay who designed her logo.

The release said, too, that the Kai Kit for Kids team is also in dialogue with several suppliers to vet the products that make it into each kit. For them this is a particularly important step as kids have super-sensitive bodies, and all efforts will be made to protect them.

“All efforts will culminate with the Kai Kit for Kids launch in the first quarter of 2019. In the longer run, Kai Kit for Kids hopes to empower every child in the Caribbean region and even worldwide to make health and sanitation a personal choice. The kits will be the perfect companion to help them do that,” the release said.

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