October 16 has been designated World Food Day by the United Nations. See how children in poverty are victims of malnourishment, and how Compassion is part of the global movement to end hunger.
Malnourishment has long been a problem in the developing world, stealing away health, strength and even life from children. Some of those first Korean children who inspired Compassion’s beginnings in 1952 were, quite literally, starving to death. And children in poverty still suffer today.
Food insecurity and malnutrition are life-threatening problems in the developing world. But Compassion has faced this familiar enemy in country after country for years. Malnourishment doesn't just happen overnight. When parents or caregivers have to rely on unstable working conditions and countries have to rely on unstable financial bases, the children are the first victims.
Compassion battles hunger and food insecurity on several fronts:
- In each of the countries Compassion serves, we offer therapeutic feeding and medicine in response to malnutrition.
- In Guatemala, we are building greenhouses to teach children how to grow their own vegetables, which are then shared with their families.
- When food prices in El Salvador sky-rocketed, Compassion health specialists helped develop special diets for children suffering from malnutrition, including fortified soy flour, chicken and vitamins. In some centers, malnutrition dropped by up to 80 percent.
- When rainfall in Kenya decreased, Compassion staff there knew a drought was imminent. Workers taught parents about drought-resistant vegetation, and at one center planted a 2- acre farm to provide food and income.
- In El Salvador, staff have implemented an 8-month plan to provide a diet rich in protein and vitamins for malnourished children.
- Rural communities in Bangladesh have been hard hit by flooding. Compassion began offering both breakfast and lunch to children at centers where families were hit hardest.
- Families in Rwanda were provided soya beans to plant in their home gardens. These beans are rich in manganese and are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, protein, calcium, iron and potassium.