Harvest is a time of year when the abundance of food is celebrated and we give thanks for the food we have. For many of the children in our programmes, subsistence farming is their way of life and their main source of food or income. But in the poorest countries, the harvest is not always plentiful and daily life is a struggle, with children suffering the effects of a lack of food and diets that are nutritionally poor.
Our programmes operate at scale. Supporting nearly 20,000 hungry, growing children in school each year means we need to provide food for nearly 60,000 meals every day! Having small-scale agriculture projects at each of our schools helps our donor support go that bit further and supplement the food supplies we fund.
These food projects don’t provide enough food for all the children to eat all year, but every little helps to reduce the cost of the meals. This is especially valuable in recent months, as the cost of basic food items in all countries around the world has risen dramatically. Gardening and agriculture also gives a valuable opportunity to educate children on how to grow their own food, introducing them to a wider variety of healthy food options, and giving them practical skills they can share with their families.
UNICEF’s “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022” highlights how food security indicators are showing that, despite hopes, food security is not improving around the world. Issues like malnutrition, stunting in children, and the number of people facing hunger are rising. A startling prediction from the report states that an estimated 670 million people will still be facing hunger in 2030.
For us a key takeaway from the report is that children in rural settings and poor households where their mothers have not received formal education, are far more vulnerable to stunting. The Sisters see this on their yearly outreach within the rural communities. They report many children suffering from stunted growth with clear signs of malnutrition and poor development for age. The effects of these poor early starts can last children a lifetime.
Providing school places for these children is our priority. In our care they receive three nutritious meals a day to help them thrive, and a vital education which will help them learn how to grow food, care for themselves into adulthood and improve the lives of their entire families
In October, we mark World Food Day in recognition of the enormous effort needed to ensure a better life and better nutrition for millions of people around the world.
There is significant inequality in the availability and distribution of healthy food around the world. The poor in developing nations are particularly vulnerable. This year’s focus is making sure that no one is left behind.
Tackling hunger and ensuring better nutrition and a better life for people through better access to food is a complex task. It takes collaboration and care from people in every sector and from all countries to help ensure that no one is left behind.
One way we hope to give our children better nutrition and a better life is through education. By giving them the knowledge and tools they need for a sustainable future, they can live better lives, free from poverty, and be a part of a future where access to food is more equal.
Mt Iztaccíhuatl Expedition Updates
In December 2024, Enrique climbs Mt Iztaccíhuatl. You can read his updates on training and preparing for the expedition here
In September 2023, the UN reviewed its progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Over October, we reflected on how we work towards these goals within our programmes providing our children with the opportunities to escape from poverty and thrive.
Tanzania programme visit 2023
In September, Nicola and Carey from the World Villages team travelled to Tanzania for the inauguration of the new boys’ school in Dodoma. It will serve to educate some of the most impoverished boys in Tanzania.