Tag Archives: Food security

From famine to harvest

From famine to harvest | World Vision Blog

The Antsokia Valley during Ethiopia's drought and famine of 1984-'86 was a parched dust bowl where 60,000 people were starving. By August 1989, due to return of rainfall and extensive development led by World Vision, the valley was green again and resistant to future famines. (Photo: 1989 Bruce Brander/World Vision)

30 years ago, a severe drought and famine struck Ethiopia, and within five years, World Vision's relief work there had become one of the best examples of our development model.

But the impact of our work became more than a famine-to-harvest story. As we mark 30 years of progress in Ethiopia's Antsokia Valley, read how that work also led to a deeper kind of transformation.

Freedom from hunger

Freedom from hunger | World Vision Blog

Calden, 3, holds a Family Food Kit from World Vision after Hurricane Isaac. (Photo: 2012 Laura Reinhardt/World Vision)

As we celebrate our nation's freedom tomorrow, many hardworking Americans remain bound by hunger – including almost 16 million children.

Today, World Vision writer John Iwasaki describes how our U.S. Programs are working to help bring freedom from hunger to families across our nation.

Transforming child health through better nutrition

Join us in celebrating World Food Day today!

Tran Thi Mui, a young mother in rural Vietnam, was sad to learn that her first child, Vu Viet Ha, was malnourished. Child malnutrition can lead to reduced mental and physical development as children grow. Aware of this danger, Mui was determined to change her daughter’s situation by continuing to participate in her nutrition club supported by World Vision.

Rita's story: Standing strong against hunger

John Iwasaki, senior writer for World Vision's U.S. Programs, tells the story of Rita Lujan, a cancer survivor who struggles to make ends meet for her family. With the help of World Vision food kits, Rita is standing strong: "God doesn't give you more than you can chew."

Why World Vision? Providing the key to food security

Week 1 of our Why World Vision? campaign explored our holistic approach to community development, and for the past two weeks we've looked at how both WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) and Health programs strengthen communities.

This week, we delve into our work with Food & Agriculture — a variety of programs designed to increase food security and provide better nutrition for children, families, and communities.

Securing the future of Turkana

Having witnessed ghastly scenes of malnourished and hungry children and mothers in Turkana, Kenya, in 2011, I returned a year later and witnessed a total transformation.

World Vision is busy working on recovery and resilience-building programs that are rapidly changing the picture of this region of East Africa.

HungerFree: Your guide to the G8 and G20 summits

HungerFree is a campaign to end global hunger by creatively engaging world leaders on the topic. In May and June, leaders from the world's largest economies will meet for the G8 and G20 summits to discuss issues of global significance. James Pedrick of World Vision ACT:S, our college activism network, discusses these summits and the important role they can play in eliminating world hunger.

Frogs: The other, other white meat

It’s lean, green, and full of protein. Frog -- the other, other white meat.

In many parts of the world, frog meat is seen as a delicacy. In some areas where World Vision works, it is one of the only sources of protein within reach.

Rooftops, full bellies, and prayers (blessings 4-6)

We’re counting our blessings each day this week in celebration of Thanksgiving. Blessings #4, 5, and 6: for rooftops over our heads, food in our bellies, and prayers for provision for those who currently endure without these basics.

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The holiday season has officially begun. Weeks before Thanksgiving, Christmas ads appeared on TV and in newspapers. Last week, I was in New York City, where the window displays and Christmas lights are an art form, which delights native New Yorkers and the thousands of tourists who flock there to experience this special time of year. I confess that I feel like a kid again -- filled with wonder and awe -- when I get to visit New York at this time of year.

Sometimes the quieter holiday -- Thanksgiving -- gets lost in the Christmas excitement. But still, this week, people across the United States will come together with friends and family to eat their delicious Thanksgiving dinners.

At the end of the meal, we’ll say how we ate too much and will have to ramp up our workouts to get rid of those extra calories.

But that’s not the case for everyone in the United States.

Dear G20: Remember the real 99%

Cannes, France, is world-renowned for its glamor, beauty, and opulence. This week, the playground destination for the rich and famous is filled with politicians, media, and NGO representatives, as the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies gather for the annual G20 Summit. And as the Eurozone crisis deepens and the U.S. economy remains unsteady, the stakes couldn’t be much higher.

These issues must be discussed, and the G20 is a crucial forum to have these discussions. But there’s much more to this story. Right now, in cities around the world, there is a growing protest movement putting the issue of inequality squarely on the public agenda. Regardless how you feel about the movement, I believe there is another 99 percent whom we need the G20 -- and other global leaders -- to remember and prioritize.

G20 outlook: Will food security agenda remain priority at Cannes summit?

The following is an excerpt from Adam Taylor's post on The Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Global Food for Thought Blog.

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This weekend, American families will be preparing their Halloween costumes and loading up on last minute candy purchases. On Monday night, most American children will be walking the dark streets in ghoulish costumes and returning home happy with bags full of sweets. For the next few weeks they will consume way more than the minimum calories (1,500 Kcal per day for a child) needed for their development while an estimated one billion people will go to bed hungry.

Answers from a food aid expert (Part 2)

This is the second of a 2-part series of responses to questions you asked us about food aid -- its complexities, and its implications on economic development and child health -- in advance of World Food Day, which was Sunday. Paul Macek, World Vision's senior director of food security and livelihoods team, continues answering your questions below.

Read the post that started this: Ask an expert about food aid. Then, check out the first installment in this series: Answers from a food aid expert (Part 1).

[caption id="attachment_9090" align="alignright" width="288" caption="Paul Macek, World Vision"]Ask an expert about food aid | World Vision blog[/caption]

FROM KARIN: I was wondering what happens after a child is nourished with Plumpy'Nut™ and no longer needs it. What happens next to prevent that child from slipping back into severe malnutrition? 

As you’ve rightly guessed, Karin, the easy part is providing therapeutic food to a child to restore his or her health, in the form of Plumpy'Nut™. The real challenge lies in preventing the recurrence of malnutrition. World Vision uses a comprehensive approach for this. Children who do not require therapeutic food may be given normal foods to supplement their diet -- such as porridges made of rice flour, beans, eggs, vegetables, and other nutritious foods -- until they have a healthy weight. World Vision provides information to families on how much and how often to feed their child, as well as how to prepare foods. Families are also supported by health workers to keep their children healthy through routine immunizations and prompt treatment of illnesses. A comprehensive approach also means that families are supported by agriculture and microfinance workers with assistance to help them generate income.

Answers from a food aid expert (Part 1)

To mark World Food Day, October 16, we asked you earlier this week to share your questions about food aid -- its complexities, and its implications on economic development and child health. This is part 1 of a 2-part series of responses to those questions from Paul Macek, World Vision's senior director of integrated food and nutrition.

Paul leads a team of specialized program officers who focus on food security, livelihoods, economic development, nutrition, agriculture, and environment. Paul has degrees in history and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master of Arts in international affairs with concentrations in international development and political economy from American University in Washington, D.C.

Part 2 will be posted on Monday, October 17. Read the post that started this: Ask an expert about food aid.

[caption id="attachment_9090" align="alignright" width="288" caption="Paul Macek is World Vision's senior director of integrated food and nutrition."]Ask an expert about food aid | World Vision blog[/caption]

FROM STEPHANIE: I would like to know your approach to the tension between feeding children with no strings attached (religious or political) but still making the most of the feeding connection to ensure children get the tools they need to grow up and break out of the poverty cycle.

World Vision provides assistance regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. We focus on changing the behavior of parents and guardians of children to ensure that they know how best to feed and nurture their children. Often with new mothers, we focus on basic messages of proper breastfeeding and weaning practices and balanced nutrition for the entire family. In our agricultural programs, we focus on providing farmers with the right information and strategies to improve their crop productivity.

Ask an expert about food aid

When I was a little kid, my sister (who never ate her vegetables) used to wish aloud at the dinner table that she could send her broccoli to Africa, where the kids really need it.

At the time, I liked to think of myself as not quite so naive -- I knew we couldn't literally send our vegetables to Africa. It would taste really bad by the time it got there.

Yes, shipping leftovers probably isn't a best practice in terms of humanitarian food aid. But what about food security? And malnutrition prevention and mitigation? And ready-to-use therapeutic food?

Asking questions like these is absolutely essential in better understanding the complexities of humanitarian work. It's also why we're continuing with our expert interview series -- in which you have the opportunity to ask your questions to aid professionals. Our first post on this topic was "Ask an aid worker about the Horn of Africa" with World Vision's Betsy Baldwin. In this second installment, I'd like to introduce you to Paul Macek.

Sponsorship 101 -- from a child sponsor

World Vision’s child sponsorship program has been part of my life for nearly two decades. My dad started working at World Vision when I was 9 years old. I’ve worked here for nearly five years now, and my husband and I sponsor three children of our own.

We love getting letters, drawings, photos, and progress reports from the children in our global family. And we love sending them cards, pictures, small packages, and the occasional extra gift.

But even as a staff person and a longtime child sponsor, I’ve still asked myself: What does sponsorship actually do? How does it actually work?

In putting this blog post together, I’ve learned that, in a nutshell, sponsorship connects you with a child in need and empowers the child’s community to become healthy, safe, and self-reliant, breaking the cycle of poverty.

It’s not a handout. It’s more like a hand up. By helping to provide access to life essentials, we, as sponsors, don’t just “give away” our money and cross our fingers. We actually help World Vision in giving the entire community of our sponsored child a “boost” up and out of poverty.

In order for children to experience life in all its fullness, they must have reliable access to all of the essentials for life: clean water, a secure source of food, healthcare, education, etc. That’s why World Vision takes an integrated approach to helping our sponsored children’s communities become whole, because each piece of this puzzle intertwines with the others.

[caption id="attachment_4665" align="alignright" width="162" caption="In Senegal, a World Vision water pump in Mballo's village gives her community clean water. ©2010 David duChemin/World Vision"][/caption]

Clean water: This is often where our work starts. Simply providing access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene can cut a community’s child death rate by more than half.

Food security: We help farming families learn better crop cultivation and food storage techniques, provide essentials like seeds and tools, and distribute food aid to help make sure that children get the nutrition they need.

Health care: We help to make basic health care accessible by stocking health clinic shelves with medicine, training parents and health workers to treat illness, and coordinating HIV-prevention education and care for those affected by HIV and AIDS.