Education is key to ending terrorism, just as it is vital to creating a world without hunger. Education provides the tools for critical thinking as well as providing the necessary skills to break the cycle of poverty. Creating a world without hunger and creating a world without terrorism both begin with education for all.
This is a powerful statement by our good friend Graca Machel. Graca is the widow of Nelson Mandela, and is a true leader in the fight against poverty, hunger and oppression in Southern Africa.
Educating girls and young women is a critical component in breaking the cycle of poverty. Graca is a strong supporter of Stop Hunger Now South Africa, and has organized and participated in several meal packaging events in South Africa and Mozambique.
Leading scientists, health experts and economists are all in agreement that the thousand days between a mother’s pregnancy and a child’s second birthday is a critical timeframe in the health and well-being of the child. Improving nutrition during this 1,000 days is one of the best investments that can be made to achieve real and lasting progress in global health and development.
Undernutrition is a leading cause of death around the world. Undernutrition for infants and children under the age of two is especially severe. It is irreversible, and impacts the child for the rest of his or her life.
Undernutrition during pregnancy can be devastating. Infants malnourished in the womb are at much higher risk of dying before the age of two and are far more likely to suffer from both cognitive and physical defects.
Undernutition in children under the age of two can be life-threatening. Weakening the child’s immune system, undernutrition during the first 1,000 days makes the child more susceptible of dying from common illnesses such a malaria, measles and pneumonia.
Health experts and economists point out that interventions targeted for the first 1,000 days can help families, communities and even entire countries break out of the poverty cycle. Targeting the first 1,000 days is a hunger solution that makes a real and lasting difference.