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World Food Day 2015

GUEST WRITER DYLAN FERREIRA

Did you know that, according to the World Food Programme, approximately 759 million people in the world (one in nine) do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life?

SCHOOL CHILDREN, RWANDA (PHOTO CREDIT: MELISSA GILES)

Or that one out of six children in developing countries are underweight? How about if women farmers had the same access to resources as male farmers that the number of people who are hungry in the world could be reduced by about 150 million people?

WOMEN FARMERS KEY TO GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY
October 16 is World Food Day. It has taken place on this day every year since 1945 when the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations was founded. On this day, countries all over the world gather in their respective continents to review the progress of strategic objectives set out by FAO to analyze whether goals are being met or not.

The three main goals of FAO are:
1. The eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition
2. The elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all
3. The sustainable management and utilization of natural resources (land, water, air, climate, etc.) for the benefit of present and future generations.

So, what is Food for the Hungry (FH) Canada doing to contribute to the goals set out by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization? When you put the objectives of FAO and Food for the Hungry side by side, they are practically identical. Food for the Hungry provides funds for projects through Child Sponsorship and FH’s Gift Guide, as well as going directly to the communities to partner on the projects while building relationships with the people.

STUDENTS PROUDLY DISPLAY SCHOOL SUPPLIES, BURUNDI
FH's Child Sponsorship program enables children to be equipped for their futures by providing school supplies, education fees, and medical coverage. Parents of sponsored children are taught income generating skills - often farming - as well as how to invest their earnings in Savings and Loans Groups. The Gift Guide offers Canadian supporters the opportunity to purchase various agricultural gifts such as livestock animals (cows, goats, pigs, and chickens), fruit and veggie seeds, training programs for farmers, and more.

Although it may seem unorthodox, purchasing “A Piece of Crap” from the Gift Guide provides farmers with the ability to properly integrate manure into the soil. This gives their soil richer nutrients, enabling farmers to grow more than just one type of crop and significantly increase their yields.

Not only does Food for the Hungry help fund and provide these services, but it does it with a special goal in mind. What sets FH apart from other development initiatives is their 10 year graduation plan. FH walks alongside impoverished communities to help them discover their assets and identify their needs, and together map out a 10 year plan to move the community out of poverty. After the 10 years, the community is self-sustaining and graduates out of FH programming. One of the hallmarks of reaching graduation is becoming food secure. Graduated communities are then encouraged to share the knowledge and expertise they received from FH with other villages so they too can have enough to eat and begin living healthier lives.

Food for the Hungry’s objectives align with the goals that FAO sets out in providing services to underdeveloped countries in need of agricultural, educational, health, and economic support. FH Canada is dedicated to ending poverty around the world, one community at a time, and is honoured to join with the world in celebrating World Food Day.

FH STAFF MEMBER HARVESTS LONG BEANS, CAMBODIA

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