A Call to Action in Ending Child Hunger and Malnutrition in Southern Africa

ENOUGH child hunger and Malnutrition
Tuesday, January 30, 2024

By: Lerato Brown, Communications and Marketing Manager, Lesotho

Southern Africa Regional ENOUGH Design Workshop
World Vision Southern Africa, and Global Centre gathered in Lusaka for the #ENOUGH design workshop

In the heart of Lusaka, Zambia, colleagues from across World Vision Southern Africa—Zambia, Lesotho, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique and the Global centre team—have gathered for the #ENOUGH campaign design workshop. Today which marked the official opening of the workshop has been an immersive experience filled with deep reflections and fervent commitments. Together with our partners, we embarked on a mission to eradicate child hunger and malnutrition, drawing inspiration from biblical teachings and a shared vision of a 'world where every child thrives on nourishing food'.

A Prayerful Start: Seeking "ENOUGH" for All

Southern Africa Regional ENOUGH Design Workshop
From Right: Craig Steward with Lerato Brown(World Vision Lesotho) and Trinity Kubalasa(World Vision Malawi

The day commenced with a reflective devotional led by Craig Steward, Senior Advisor Church Partnership. His words echoed the plea from Jesus' teachings on prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," setting the stage for our campaign's resounding call: ENOUGH nutritious food, ENOUGH funding, ENOUGH political will, and ENOUGH compassionate individuals. We acknowledged that saying "ENOUGH" could be the catalyst for change, ensuring no child suffers when we all act now.

Reflecting on the divine ability to multiply seemingly insufficient resources, we drew parallels with Jesus multiplying bread and fish to feed the multitudes, emphasizing the potential for abundance even in scarcity.

A Vision for Change: Speaking with One Voice

Southern Africa Regional ENOUGH Design Workshop
Deepesh Thakur, presenting on the vision, strategic goals, outcomes and results of the #ENOUGH Campaign

Deepesh Thakur, Senior Director of Global Advocacy and Impact, revisited World Vision's global theory of change—a world where every child enjoys ENOUGH nourishing food to thrive. With clear goals focused on eliminating hunger and malnutrition, including making children visible in food security and enhancing nutrition services, the workshop emphasized the power of speaking with one voice to address the hunger crisis. The consensus was clear: intentional programming and unified campaigning are pivotal to achieving success in this monumental task.

Faces of Hunger: Proximity and Impact

Southern Africa Regional ENOUGH Design Workshop
Joh Hasse(Middle) engaging with Makhera Kalele, Lesotho (Left) and Sakhile Dlamini, Eswatini (Right)

John Hasse, World Vision Zambia National Director, unveiled the different faces of hunger and highlighted the exacerbating impact of climate change in our diverse countries. The consequences on children, such as stunting, wasting, and underweight, paint a dire picture for their future development.

Alarming statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations underscored the urgency, with 1,481 million children under 5 affected by stunting in 2022. If left unaddressed, the report predicts 600 million people worldwide will be chronically undernourished by 2030.

Southern Africa Regional ENOUGH Design Workshop

Mark Kelly, World Vision Southern Africa Regional Director, challenged us to revisit our roots and consider the well-being of our neighbors. Hunger, he emphasized, is not a distant concept but a harsh reality in our families, communities, and countries, contributing to a world plagued by the hunger crisis. The Food Security Information Network also highlights a sobering note, reporting that 35 million people in 39 countries were on the brink of famine in 2022.

Breaking the Cycle: Nutrition and Collective Responsibility

Southern Africa Regional ENOUGH Design Workshop

Antonio Santana Dias, Regional Director for Nutrition, shed light on the cyclical nature of hunger's impact. From children facing poor nutrition to families grappling with health issues and youth encountering obstacles, the cycle perpetuates itself. Santana underscored that children experiencing hunger often face malnutrition, emphasizing the need to break this vicious cycle through improved nutrition. Partners such as UNICEF, FAO, WFP, and Save the Children shared a global perspective on current interventions, emphasizing the necessity for collaborative efforts.

The day's engagements have ignited inspiration and unity, reinforcing our shared commitment to fulfill our calling as the workmanship of God, bringing fullness of life to children in Southern Africa and the world.

As we conclude this enlightening day at the #ENOUGH Campaign Design Workshop, the echoes of "ENOUGH" resonate strongly. We celebrated the invaluable contributions of our field offices as they presented their national assessments, coupled with insightful discussions, which have illuminated diverse challenges and opportunities. Witnessing this collective effort to tailor campaign strategies to specific country contexts has been truly inspiring.

Southern Africa Regional ENOUGH Design Workshop
World Vision Zambia presenting the Field Office National Assessment for the #ENOUGH campaign

World Vision together with its partners is forging a comprehensive and inclusive approach, committed to ending child hunger and malnutrition in Southern Africa. This is not merely a campaign; it's a movement—a movement towards a world where no child goes hungry, where every child enjoys the nourishing food needed to thrive.