Stop and think to yourself for a minute: about how many times have you heard the names Nancy Kerrigan or Michael Jackson recently? Forty times? Fifty maybe?
Now think again: how many times have you heard of Muhammed Yunus or The World Summit for Children in your entire life? Once or twice maybe? None?
Why is it that the man who started a successful poverty lending program on the Grameem Bank in Bangladesh or the first time 159 world leaders met to discuss the welfare of children rarely are topics of conversation or newspaper articles?
I wish I knew.
The world’s hungry people are searching for more than a simple handout. They want more than our pity or guilt.
They need more than a cup of soup.
Our world’s hungry men, women and children are looking to find opportunities.
We — students, journalists and leaders — need to show our support for proven, effective programs to help the world’s poor. We need more poverty lending banks and Head Start programs around the world.
Write to your senator or editor of a local paper. Start a Youth Ending Hunger group at your school. Call your representatives and urge them to make the end to world hunger not only a priority, but a reality.
Why is Connecticut spending $5 million on a skating rink when that money could stop more than 35,000 children from dying? Speak about those children who die each day as they are our children.
Continue, or begin, to educate, to communicate and to question.
Not until we make hungry people a priority will we, in our lifetime, see the end to chronic, persistent hunger, dying children and world starvation.
It is possible.
Jill R. Synnott is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.