Millennials engagement in achieving the Second Sustainable Development Goal
Children are the most exposed social group to the risk of undernutrition. In 2013, Black et. al. estimated that undernutrition is overall the cause of 3.1 million child deaths annually, 45% of all child deaths. Malnutrition can also be caused by diseases, such as the ones that cause diarrhea, by reducing the body’s ability to convert food into usable nutrients.
Although the numbers are worrying and the percentage of hungry people worldwide is still high, several initiatives to achieve the second SDG have emerged in the past years and are currently emerging. In this regard, youth engagement to end poverty is considerable:
• Young people like Mercy and Shetuuka, for example, are working to reduce hunger and create jobs in Namibia through environmentally friendly farming. Thanks to drip irrigation, their efforts produce 100,000 Namibian dollars each month worth of sweet potatoes, onions, butternuts, cabbages, watermelons, tomatoes and green peppers, 30 percent more than the average growth for three hectares of farmland.
• Youth in Santa Fe, New Mexico, developed a project to educate young people about hunger, food waste and what they can do to create food security in the community. From their efforts, in 2014, 3,879 pounds of food were diverted from the waste stream.
• A few years ago, a group of students from New York City developed a project, called “Neighbors Feeding Neighbors”, to increase volunteering at their local food pantry. They were able to feed 100 people and packed more than 200 boxes daily.
Not everyone has the opportunity to develop such great initiatives, however there are some other ideas that young people can put into practice to give an effective contribution to achieving the second SDG. Here they are, listed below:
1) Approximately, 1.3 billion tons of food gets wasted every year. Donating leftovers, from personal events like birthdays, graduations, or school parties, to the nearest food bank is a great way to avoid wastes and help people in need.
2) Food banks and food pantries need ongoing support. So, volunteering at a food bank and giving personal support in collecting food and money would be an even more effective contribution against hunger.
3) Summer is a tough time for hungry kids, because many of them who have access to free meals at school don’t have the same opportunity while school is out. Backpack feeding programs represent an effective initiative to make a powerful impact, as they provide food for kids in need, over weekends or school breaks.
4) Healthy foods are usually more expensive than processed ones, but our health depends heavily on it. Therefore, we can give our contribution by teaching families about healthy eating and cooking. In fact, a healthy diet is the best way to increase personal productivity and strengthen health.
5) Buy products from local farmers/producers to support their businesses.
Take action and give your personal contribution to achieving the second SDG and fight hunger. If every one of us put into practice at least a couple of these tips, we would be able to reach great results by the year 2030 in the attempt to end hunger.
If you’re involved with any one of these initiatives, don’t hesitate and join our competition here: https://goo.gl/5LUfP2 .
Cover cartoon credit: Sergio Algeri/GYV