World Day of Social Justice

February 20, 2014 marks the eighth annual World Day of Social Justice.

Mother-and-child

The United Nations celebrates World Day of Social Justice by proclaiming:

Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or   the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability. 

Observance of World Day of Social Justice should support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.

Through working to prevent childhood death from malnutrition, Every Child Fed promotes several principles of social justice. Our approach in treating severe acute malnutrition (SAM) addresses poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and gender equity.

It’s estimated that 84,000 children in Zambia suffer from SAM each year, but only one out of ten are receiving treatment. The solution is Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), a peanut-based therapeutic food clinically proven to effectively cure SAM.  We are currently working to construct a local manufacturing plant in Zambia to produce and distribute RUTF to prevent children from dying of malnutrition.

Usually, RUTF has to be shipped to communities in need from other countries, which is unsustainable and perpetuates the cycle of dependence on foreign aid. Instead, we establish local production facilities. Producing RUTF locally has many benefits. First, we create valuable job opportunities for people in their communities.  Second, we rely on local suppliers for peanuts, oil and sugar.  By employing Zambians and using locally available resources, we empower people to increase their economic well-being, thereby helping to eradicate poverty.

Furthermore, our work advances gender equity. We seek to empower women in all aspects of our project from management to manufacturing to distribution.  Women represent nine out of ten peanut farmers in Zambia. The increase in the demand for peanuts used in RUTF production will lead to an increase in income generation and ultimately empowerment for women.  Women also benefit from our work when they are provided a home-based treatment for their malnourished child, instead of the need for costly hospital visits.

So what can you do in your own community to promote social well-being and justice?

  1. Get informed: Did you know that a child dies every ten seconds from preventable, hunger-related causes? Learn more about the issues that you care about and tell your friends.
  1. Take action in your community: Have a few hours to spare? Volunteer your time for a worthy cause. Get involved with Every Child Fed, or find other opportunities through Volunteer Match and Idealist to make difference in your community today.
  1. Donate money: ECF relies on donations from individuals like you to save children’s lives through a proven, sustainable model.

 
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