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Let's Celebrate International Literacy Day

PaigeA Author
By Paige Anderson on September 8, 2020

Happy International Literacy Day!
At Rise Against Hunger, we work to support the United Nations Sustainable Goal #2 of Zero Hunger. We are working to eliminate  hunger in communities across the world, and we also believe access to nutritious food and education are equally important, which is why we are celebrating International Literacy Day!

International Literacy Day began in 1966 by UNESCO. This day was created to highlight the importance of literacy across the globe. Literacy makes a difference in not only an individual’s life, but it also improves the overall quality of communities and countries. The issue of International Literacy is highlighted in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

International Literacy Day gives us the opportunity to analyze the systems and policies in place to support our educators and students. At Rise Against Hunger we believe that educational success begins when hunger ends. Rise Against Hunger actively participates in school meal programs across the globe.

Students enrolled in the meal program through their school have reportedly seen an increase in health and grades, like Edith, a twelve year old girl in Zambia. Edith is enrolled at Bauleni Legacy Academy in the seventh grade. She and her family struggled to get enough nutrition from their daily meals. Edith was reportedly less motivated and confident in her studies until she began receiving three meals a day from our partner, Family Legacy Missions. Edith’s teachers describe her as a “joyful and intelligent young lady” and she aspires to be an educator when she grows up.

Telma, a 47 year old mother of five, living in a rural community in Belize reportedly struggled with the effects of hunger. She and her five children were surviving on two meals a day that mainly consisted of tortillas and beans. When her children entered school, they were enrolled in the Rise Against Hunger school meal program, Kids Konnect 4 Jesus. The family has reported to be in better health and experiencing hunger less frequently since entering school and participating in the school meal program. 

The effects of hunger are far reaching. Hunger is not only a hindrance to daily life but it also has long-term effects that do not only impede one’s health. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, hunger perpetuates poverty by hindering productivity. Hunger also lowers attendance for girls and boys in school, the lack of education inhibits their ability to earn higher wages which puts individuals in danger of experiencing hunger throughout their life.

International Literacy Day is a day to not only shine a light on the importance of education to breaking the cycle of poverty, but to analyze how we can all better support children and adults in receiving education. A quality education supports quality of life. It is difficult to achieve either when you are experiencing hunger. To support learning and ending hunger, please donate now.