It’s easy to take things for granted when you live in Canada. We have what we need. We live in one of the richest countries in the world. As a parent, it’s my job to challenge my family and my children to see beyond our backyard. I’m raising my kids to be global citizens who care and believe they have power to help change the world for the better.
So, what does that look like? This summer as the Rio Olympic games get started, I’ll use the media coverage to find moments to talk to my kids about issues like malnutrition, and children’s health and welfare around the world. My kids know children have a voice. Once I took my older daughter to an event where environmentalist Severn Cullis – Suzuki, who spoke in Rio at the Earth Summit when she was only 12 years old, discussed women’s role models. We have attended We Days over the years and a few years ago I encouraged both of my daughters to write to our city council about a decision they didn’t support. Together as a family we work with charities that are close to our heart – ones that build a better future for children.
That’s why RESULTS Canada has our interest this summer.
I believe that children and youth have a voice and that they have power as well. I think that is a lesson worth repeating often. That’s why I will take some time this summer to talk to my kids about The Road To Rio Challenge, the movement called RESULTS Canada and the realities of global malnutrition and undernutrition, and poverty.
RESULTS Canada is a global movement of people passionate about ending extreme poverty. RESULTS Canada combines voices of grassroots advocates with advocacy. The group raises money to help build programs and improve policies to give the world’s poorest people access to health, education and the opportunity to thrive.
The Road to Rio Challenge is a fundraising campaign that will help RESULTS Canada raise $50,000 to fund advocacy work. The challenge will demonstrate Canadian support for ending malnutrition worldwide. It will also help ensure that every child has a healthy start in life.
Those taking the challenge will walk, run, and roll a collective 9,000 kilometres (which is the distance between Ottawa and Rio De Janeiro ) by August 4th, while asking friends and family to donate to RESULTS Canada along the way.
Road to Rio is a global fundraising and advocacy effort that includes RESULTS Canada, RESULTS USA and RESULTS UK. You can learn more about Road to Rio here: http://results.akaraisin.com/RoadToRio/ You can also follow along with committed RESULTS Canada members who are walking, running, rolling, or even trotting, as is one case with a horse-loving volunteer member.
In the global nutrition sector, “malnutrition” actually encompasses several conditions, including undernutrition, being overweight and obesity. RESULTS Canada focuses efforts on undernutrition in developing countries.
Undernutrition keeps people from reaching their full potential. Undernourished children underperform in school, limiting potential for future job opportunities. Undernourished adults are less able to work, contribute to local economies, and provide care for their families. Undernourished mothers are more likely to have underweight children, who will in turn have a higher risk of physical and cognitive impairment. That perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
As a parent raising youth and growing advocates I am always interested in learning more about causes that might prompt a passionate response from my own children. I took some time to interview RESULTS Canada Volunteer Roshelle Filart by email.
Roshelle Filart says she first became aware and interested in the issue of malnutrition and poverty when she was a student. She is committed to raising $500 and traveling 500 km by bike to help raise awareness. Her Road to Rio will help raise money to help the group achieve their advocacy goals before the start of the Rio summer Olympics.
From Roshelle on Canada Global Nutrition Challenge:
“Whether I was student teaching in an economically disadvantaged neighbourhood in downtown Toronto or teaching in rural southern and West Africa, the effects of poor nutrition on early childhood development and later educational outcomes were more or less the same. It was simply impossible to teach children who were too hungry and too tired to learn. In Canada, malnutrition tends to manifest as obesity or diabetes and other chronic diseases rather than the classic stunting and wasting seen in many developing or conflict-ridden countries. But whatever form it takes, we need to address malnutrition wherever it exists because it deprives so many people of their dignity and potential.”
“We need to make more Canadians aware of malnutrition in all its forms and the impact it has on a child’s cognitive and physical development. We need people to understand that when 795 million people around the world do not get enough to eat we all suffer the global economic burden,” says Filart.
Some Facts About Malnutrition and Undernutrition:
- On average, global nutrition-specific programming accounts for only 1% of official development assistance, while malnutrition plays a role in the deaths of 45% of all children under the age of five worldwide.
- Undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies cost up to USD$2.1 trillion per year to the global economy
- 870 million people face chronic hunger
- USD $3.5 trillion lost annually in productivity and healthcare costs.
- 793 million people are undernourished globally (macro- and micro-nutrient deficiencies)
- 159 million children are affected by stunting (low height-for-age), which leads to weaker immune systems and diminished cognitive capacities
- 50 million children are affected by wasting (low weight-for-height). Children with severe wasting are 11 times more likely to die than their healthy counterparts
The Canada Global Nutrition Challenge Makes an Impact:
The Canada Global Nutrition Challenge is simple to do and makes a dramatic impact on children’s health. Read more or donate here.
Take the Canada Global Nutrition Challenge and commit to helping RESULTS Canada tackle poverty, and malnutrition world-wide. Donate to help now and talk to your family and friends about changing the world with RESULTS Canada.
This post is sponsored by Social Diversity Media Inc. on behalf of RESULTS Canada. All opinions are my own.