One of the greatest gifts Susie Luballo ever experienced was an exuberant greeting from a happy two-year-old. Susie, a Nutrition Program manager for Action Against Hunger, was stationed in South Sudan. She was working at one of our stabilization centres (a health clinic) and met a distraught South Sudanese mother who had walked for four days carrying her sick and severely malnourished toddler.
“The baby was close to death,” Susie recalls.
But after just two weeks of therapeutic nutrient-rich Plumpy Nut paste and medical treatment for pneumonia, a very different little girl ran up to greet Susie. “She was a completely new child,” Susie says. “It was amazing to see how relieved and happy her mother was.”
Susie’s best gift arrived in no small part because of compassionate, thoughtful donors like you. And as we approach the holiday season—when gift giving is on all of our minds—I’m asking you to make a donation. Or why not honour family and friends with a life-saving Action Against Hunger Canada gift in their name?
Why is your gift so important right now? Every year 3.1 million children die from hunger-related causes—almost 50% of all child deaths globally. Malnutrition is without a doubt the single greatest threat to child survival. What’s incredibly frustrating to me is that it doesn’t have to be this way!
Malnutrition is predictable, preventable, and treatable, and defeating hunger on a global scale is affordable.
For example, your holiday gift of a 45-day supply of therapeutic food for $45 will restore a malnourished child to health. Gifts like this are not only life-saving, but are also a smart investment in a healthier, more productive and peaceful world.
Susie Luballo knows that malnutrition can be eradicated. Despite working on the frontlines of hunger in some of the most desperate communities, in places like South Sudan and northern Kenya, she is adamant that children do not have to die or experience malnourishment.
“Can we solve this?” she says. “Categorically, yes. We have to approach this from both sides—from working with governments to allocate resources—to working directly with families and leaders to understand their needs and help them solve nutrition issues as part of a larger community picture.”
There’s no doubt that’s not an easy task. But Action Against Hunger has been fighting childhood malnutrition and helping communities become self-sufficient for 35 years, serving 9 million people in 45 countries. In Kenya alone, where Susie is based, last year we helped more than 300,000 people with nutritional support and access to safe water. Through your holiday gift, you are a vital part of this world-changing work. Take a moment to celebrate that you are helping to tackle the root causes of hunger.
And what exactly do I mean by that last statement? We believe that it’s important for our donors to know that our organization is a little different in the humanitarian aid community. We provide emergency relief and focus on severe malnutrition—and we also tackle underlying causes and work with local communities to transform short-term crisis interventions into sustainable, long-term solutions—led by the community.
Your support helps us do our homework to give a clear, evidence-based picture of malnutrition in a community. This gives us a faster, more accurate understanding of hunger in a community. Then we work to address it.
But we can’t do it without you. By giving a gift this holiday season, you are bringing joy and hope to children and families in the most desperate places on earth. You are a changing the world.