An Appetite for Change: 2011 Hunger Report on Ending Hunger and Malnutrition

Jessica headshot Jessica Harris

Media Relations Intern, Save the Children

Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

 

The 2011 Hunger Report is a “200 page hooray” for U.S. leadership and focus on global food security, said Bread for the World President Rev. David Beckmann.  Nodding in agreement were Mr. Beckmann’s fellow panelists, Dr. Rajiv Shah of USAID, Roger Thurow of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Inger Andersen of The World Bank, and Carolyn Miles of Save the Children.

Each night, 925 million people go to bed hungry.  This number, which has increased in past years due to a spike in food prices in 2007-2008, is unacceptable.  In a world of plenty, how is it that so many have to suffer through malnutrition and hunger pains on a daily basis? 

This is the question the panelists addressed today as they discussed the key focus points of the Hunger Report and the programs that will help to reduce the number of malnourished children.  According to Inger Andersen, one in five children worldwide is malnourished.  Save the Children’s Carolyn Miles emphasized that child malnutrition creates lifelong and generational impacts:  growth is stunted, immune systems are compromised, and cognitive function is negatively affected.  The first 1,000 days – from pregnancy to age two – is the critical time for child development.

 


     

In an effort to eradicate hunger, the 2011 report has outlined various programs that focus on linking agricultural practices with good nutrition.  Dr. Shah highlighted ways to introduce farmers to crops such as drought-resistant corn and more nutritional grains, increasing family income as well as improving health.  Carolyn Miles recommended that these programs happen on the ground in an integrated way to ensure that families grow foods packed with nutrition, citing the example of a family in Guatemala that she recently visited.  The family has two sons with a three year age difference, yet both children are the same height and weight because the younger son had the benefit of a Save the Children integrated agriculture, nutrition, and livestock project.

During the question and answer session, one reporter asked Dr. Shah how participating organizations will measure the success of these anti-hunger programs.  Dr. Shah responded by expressing that hunger will not be eradicated in five years.  This is just not feasible. However, the main goal right now is to target five to ten countries, decrease the number of people who go hungry every day, and use those examples to prove that this can be done on a larger scale.  

As the discussion came to a close, the panelists highlighted the most important points to take away from the well received report.  According to Carolyn Miles, it is “critical that we focus on the most vulnerable families.”  In perhaps one of the most powerful statements made Monday morning, Dr. Shah concluded the discussion by calling the fight against hunger the “challenge of our time.”


Cyber Monday Gift Ideas

Dhheadshot Dave Hartman, Save the Children, Internet Marketing and Communications Specialist

Westport, CT

Friday, November 26, 2010

 In 2005 some cooky marketing wiz came up with the idea that by combining two American staples, shopping and the internet, people could avoid the torturous, chaotic Black Friday experience, cut down on emissions (since you don’t have to drive anywhere!) and still get great bargains for the holidays. We call this wonderful day, Cyber Monday. 

Last year on Cyber Monday consumers spent nearly $890 million dollars online.

Well here at Save the Children we can’t help but imagine the difference we could make if just a fraction of that money was spent on responsible, meaningful holiday gifts.

On Cyber Monday (or anytime between now and the end of the year) we encourage you to forfeit the commuting and the crowds and go green with a gift from the Save the Children Gift Catalog.

Here are a bunch of great eco-themed gifts that people of all ages are sure to love! 

Sheep

Cute cuddly animals like sheep, goats and cows are a valuable source of food and protein-rich dairy AND much-need source of income

 

Corn-credit needed

Veggie gardens grow food AND healthy bodies & minds. Help another garden grow this holiday season

 

Water pump

One billion people worldwide do not have access to clean water. Your gift to our Clean Water Fund helps provide safe, clean, life-giving water to children families who currently have access to life’s most vital resource.

Still unsure? Check out the catalog or donate to our Global Action Fund

Happy Shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dhheadshot Dave Hartman, Save the Children, Internet Marketing and Communications Specialist

Westport, CT

Thursday, November 25, 2010

 

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!

Save the Children wants to send a most sincere thank you to all of our supporters, donors, child sponsors, corporate partners, charity partners, volunteers, retweeters, bloggers, and everyone else that we work with around the globe! You are all helping us to bring lasting change to children in need around the world and in the US.

Enjoy this special day of Thanksgiving and remember that we could not do this work without your continued support. You rock! 🙂

512px-Thanksgiving_1918

Sarita’s Story: Helping Students Stay Healthy in Nepal

Sanjana_profile_picture Sanjana Shrestha

Nepal Information Coordinator, Save the Children

Kahtmandu, Nepal 

Friday, November 19, 2010

For Sarita, 15, going to the bathroom during school used to bring fears of being bitten by a snake or embarrassment of having people see her going out in the open.

“The surrounding area of the school has poor sanitation,” explained Surya Prasad Bhatta, a teacher at Chaudyal Lower Secondary School in Kailali District of Nepal, where Sarita is a student. “The students would usually have to go on the river bank or in the jungle due to lack of toilets. It was difficult for them.”

Sartia “It used to take a long time to go to the jungle and come back to school,” added Sarita.

 But two years ago through a Save the Children-supported program the school built four new toilets for boys and four new toilets for girls. 

 “Things are different now,” said Sarita. “We use the toilet, and we don’t have to stand in long lines because we have enough of them. There is privacy, and it is less time-consuming.”

 To keep the restrooms clean, each student contributes two rupees (3 cents) to buy supplies like hand soap, detergent and buckets.  (The money also helps restock the school’s first-aid kit with medicines.)

 The school has set up a daily schedule, assigning each class and the School Health Management Committee to clean the toilets on different days. Inside toilet

Handwashing Helps Prevent Illnesses

 After going to the bathroom at school, children used to crowd around the one hand pump – the only source of water near the school – to wet their hands.  “We didn’t have soap before,” says Sarita.

 Save the Children installed two handwashing stations near the new toilets at school. These stations include pumps that you push by hand to get clean water, a large jug with a spout for pouring the water and soap. Students were taught about the importance of washing their hands to prevent bacteria and viruses, which can cause illnesses, and the proper technique for handwashing.

 “We learned that we should always wash our hands using soap and water before eating, after using the toilet and after touching human waste with your hands,” said Sarita.

 Since the handwashing stations were built, Sarita says fewer of her friends are getting sick, especially from diarrhea.

And, her teacher is seeing changes in the community as well as at school.  “Students have also developed a habit of washing their hands with soap at home,” said Bhatta.

 Outside toitletsThe new restrooms and handwashing stations are part of Save the Children’s School Health and Nutrition program that aims to help children stay healthy and stay in school.  The program includes providing children with access to safe and child-friendly water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and education.  Over the past two years, Save the Children has helped put 355 toilets in schools and preschools in Nepal. And, in 2009 alone, Save the Children installed 489 handwashing stations at Nepali schools.

 

Santosh Mahato,  Save the Children’s Nepal Health Programme Coordinator, contributed reporting. 

It’s Time to Fight Back Against Pneumonia!

Jessica headshotJessica Harris

Media Relations Intern, Save the Children

Washington, D.C.

Monday, November 15, 2010

If you’re like me, you have had pneumonia before. At some point you felt ill, went to the doctor’s, took your medicine, and moved on. Unfortunately, children across the globe are dying from this highly preventable disease every day.

Every year, a total of 1.5 million children die from pneumonia. That’s one child every 20 seconds.

As I stood outside Union Station this morning passing out buttons and flyers to raise awareness for World Pneumonia Day, I realized one thing; not a single person I talked to could identify the number one killer of children.

To help draw attention to this little-known killer, the Kaiser Foundation hosted a panel discussion today featuring Cokie Roberts of NPR, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel of the Obama Administration, Dr. Orin Levine of John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Salim Sadruddin of Save the Children, and Shannon Duffy Peterson, parent advocate.

Wpd
Cokie Roberts of NPR and Dr. Orin Levine of John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health discuss issues surrounding World Pneumonia Day.

There was not a dry eye in the room as Mrs. Duffy Peterson described how her daughter Abigail fell ill and later passed away after contracting pneumonia. It only took 72 hours. She was just two weeks shy of her sixth birthday.

The message today was clear. We need to get our children vaccinated, provide access to antibiotics to rural families in underdeveloped countries, and help parents to recognize the symptoms of pneumonia before it is too late.

For less than one dollar, life saving antibiotics can be administered to a child who might otherwise die from pneumonia. As Dr. Levine said during the discussion this morning, “Pneumonia is the biggest solvable problem in global health.”

As I sat there calculating the number of children would die during the panel discussion, this quote struck me as more than just a statement; it is a call to action

Why You’d Want This Job

Karisten Strong Karisten Strong, Sponsorship Marketing Associate 

Westport, CT

Friday, November 12, 2010  


 

Every Save the Children child sponsor enjoys a special connection to children in need.  If you sponsor a child in Nepal, you also have a direct connection to Seema Baral, whose passion for children is sure to inspire.

Seema, our Sponsorship Manager in Nepal and Bhutan, has one of the most enviable jobs in the entire agency. Every day, she sees first-hand the impact that you and every Nepal sponsor make in children’s lives.


Seema (1)

On a recent trip to one of Nepal’s poorest communities, Seema was on hand for the opening of a new school building that was funded by our Nepal sponsors.

“Everyone was so pleased with the new learning space, and I was so happy thinking of sponsors like you, who’ve joined hands with people here in Nepal to make positive changes in their communities.”

Seema is especially grateful for your sponsorship because education and equality can help children achieve their dreams—something she has sought to do even before joining Save the Children in 1997.

After graduating from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal, Seema began volunteering her time assisting displaced women and children in the town of Siraha. 

The women and children were considered “untouchable” by the community merely because of their families’ past economic circumstances, and they struggled mightily to overcome discrimination at every turn.

What struck Seema was that instead of faltering in the face of such adversity, the children remained hopeful: they dreamed of being teachers, policemen, mothers and fathers just like other children. It was then Seema knew her calling. She sought equality for all children; she wanted every child to have the opportunity to achieve their dreams. She has been working to accomplish that goal ever since. 

Seema sees a long and successful future ahead for Save the Children Nepal, thanks to the loyal support of sponsors like you. With your support she and her team will continue working to bring Save the Children’s mission of creating lasting positive changes in the lives of children to life. 

The Unknown Killer

SenFrist Final

Dr. Bill Frist, Save the Children's Newborn and Child Survival campaign chairman

Nashville, Tenn.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Even some physicians I know are amazed when they hear that the leading killer of children under age 5 in the developing world is pneumonia. Not malaria. Not AIDS. A highly preventable and treatable illness is claiming 1.5 million young lives every year.

 Vaccines exist which can prevent the leading causes of pneumonia and cost-effective antibiotics can treat most cases.  If developing countries had these vaccines and medicines, more than a million children could be saved each year.

 That’s why Save the Children and more than 100 health and humanitarian organizations have joined forces to promote World Pneumonia Day this November 12th. We know if Americans understand that children are dying needlessly, they will take action to help.  

 This is a problem with a proven solution. And few causes can offer a better return on investment.  A course of antibiotics can treat most cases for less than $1. Other low-cost prevention measures include exclusive breastfeeding for six months, ensuring good nutrition, reducing air pollution, washing hands and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. No other interventions currently available have the potential to save children’s lives at this scale.

 So why are we still losing this battle?  Many children who contract pneumonia simply do not get the care they need. Though it is common, it is rarely diagnosed, as few caregivers can recognize the symptoms and begin treatment in time.

 The current critical shortage of 4.3 million health care workers is another reason more children do not receive prompt diagnosis and care. Community health care workers can fill this gap, learning in just a few months of training how to use a simple timer to measure breaths and providing lifesaving care to children in the hardest-to-reach places, where most deaths occur. 

 We need more pneumonia fighters on the front lines. Join the World Pneumonia Day movement and see how breathtakingly easy it can be to save a child’s life.   

Former Republican Senate majority leader Bill Frist, a physician, is chairman of Save the Children’s Newborn and Child Survival campaign.