Engaging children in Monza about healthy living

As part of Italian law AEDs are required at locations where sport is practiced at a professional level, but not at informal recreational spaces such as parish centers, where children play football and do many other activities.


Through a community education program, called Health for Life, Philips Foundation partnered with Red Cross Monza Committee and Brianza per il Cuore, a local NGO, in Monza, Italy, to address this gap, introducing children to healthy eating habits and the importance of first aid training.

As part of Italian law, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are required at locations where sport is practised at a professional level, but not at informal recreational spaces such as parish centers, where children play football and do many other activities. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes more than half of all deaths across the European Region and is a leading cause of death in Italy [1]. Prevention works better if it starts at an early age and ensuring children are health aware is an important part of addressing heart disease in Italy. As the World Health Organization acknowledges, the foundations of adult health are laid in early life and a good start in life is fundamental to later development.


Working in collaboration

The Health for Life program, supported by the Red Cross and Philips Foundation, was conceived with this goal in mind: to raise awareness around healthy living and prevention of cardiovascular diseases among Italian children. The project focused on children and young people attending 13 parish centers in Monza, providing them with a diverse educational programme which addressed their eating habits. This included:


  • Healthy food specialist and blogger Il Mondo di Bu supported the project with an education program on good health and food habits by teaching kids to cook healthy recipes and giving them suggestions for a healthy life. 
  • The Red Cross Italy offered sessions on first aid by showing and explaining how to use the AED. 
  • Educators and sport coaches at the parish centers took part in a training program in how to use an AED, a license for its use and dealing with a heart attack case. The training was held by Brianza per il Cuore, which runs a campaign to increase the number of defibrillators in the Monza area and teaches people how to use them.
Our main objective is to protect peoples’ health and the life of the community, to prepare them and give them the instruments needed in case of an emergency

Orazio Nelson De Lutio,

President of the Red Cross Monza Committee

“This project is perfectly aligned with our mission. Talking with children and young adults is the first step to make them aware and empower them to take control of their health, and to improve their well-being as adults.”


Philips Foundation supported the program by hosting healthy cooking labs at the parish centers and by participating in a workshop about prevention and healthy living held by the international nutritionist Dr. Evelina Flachi.


“We want to improve people lives in the continuum of care by giving the opportunity to our local community to be part of an educational program on Healthy living to prevent cardiovascular diseases,” said Stefano Folli, CEO Philips Italy, Israel and Greece

About our partners

Red Cross Monza Committee, based in Monza, Italy, is an independent humanitarian organization. It takes action in response to emergencies and promotes respect for implementation in national law. It’s under the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic, subject to State supervision and under the control of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Policy, the Ministry of Economy and Defense, each for their jurisdiction while maintaining strong its nature as a voluntary organization. It is part of the International Red Cross Committee.


Brianza per il Cuore is a local NGO, located in Monza, Italy, was founded in 1995 to promote and coordinate social and health initiatives to prevent cardiovascular disease. The association enables culture activations for fighting cardiovascular disease through trainings and staff updates in the schools and on the local territory. The association promotes research and enable the training and development for Professionals in collaboration with the Cardiology Division of San Gerardo Hospital in Monza. In the last years, the association started a campaign in Monza to increase the number of AED defibrillators in the area and educate people in how to use them.

[1] World Health Organization Europe