When I was approached to cover Save the Children’s Food for Thought campaign on the blog, I knew I had to do it.
Save the Children has found that children who suffer from chronic malnutrition are on average 20% less literate than children who are better nourished. In today’s world, I find this to be utterly shocking and depressing. As an English teacher, I have had my suspicions for some time about the amount children eat and their ability to concentrate, but it’s never been presented in such a stark light before. What’s even more worrying is that a quarter of the world’s children are chronically malnourished. Save the Children have also found that the reduction in literacy for malnourished children is not affected by the amount or quality of education. To me, this seems like a vicious cycle that traps these children in a continuing life of poverty and it is utterly unacceptable.
In a few days’ time, London is hosting a nutrition summit and Save the Children, along with some of the best loved children’s authors, are calling on world leaders to tackle this issue at the next G8 meeting. This report is part of the wider IF campaign, which urges the leaders at the G8 to tackle food poverty. We make enough food for everyone; why are some people still going hungry?
Children like Kasturi from India should not be held back academically because of a lack of food. When she was small, her parents were unable to find work and so buy nutritious food. She has struggled in school and her teacher says that there are many children like her.
Four of Nyaguol’s children are enrolled in school in Sudan, although they do not always attend due to being ill from lack of food. “I won’t force them to go to school because I know they’ll be too weak to study and may fall [faint] on the way to school… They’re happy to go to school, but when they have no food, they find it hard to concentrate.” Nyaguol cannot go far in her search for food, due to Sudan’s unstable situation.
The purpose of today’s blogpost is to get you to sign the petition and tell David Cameron that no-one should go hungry.
There is also a Twitter chat today at 1pm. You can join in with the hashtag #foodforthought and discuss your favourite children’s books, as well as ways you can help.