CHILD malnutrition is a problem that we have to deal with whether we like it or not. This affects the health and welfare of the future of our society. Leaving this problem unaddressed may cause dire consequences in affecting the progress and survival of our nation. Thus, the Consumer Protection Class of Mr. Ron Gutierrez held a forum and exhibit about child hunger in the Philippines and what projects the country is taking to address this issue last 25th of April 2017. The forum was held in Justitia while the exhibit was set-up in the B1 lobby of the Ateneo Professional Schools campus. By raising awareness on this vital issue, the students of the law played their part in giving these children a brighter future.
The forum entitled “What’s for Lunch? Promoting Awareness on Child Hunger” was joined by speakers from notable organizations, namely, the UNICEF Philippines, Children’s Hour Foundation, and AKAP (Child Rights Desk of Ateneo Human Rights Center), who passionately shared their knowledge about child malnutrition in the Philippines. Ms. Janice Datu-Sanguyo of the UNICEF gave an informative talk about undernutrition, not just of the child but also of the mother, and the first 1000 days of life. Given the statistical data laid out by Ms. Datu-Sanguyo, Ms. Geenette “Net” Garcia of Children’s Hour provided the attendees information regarding their efforts to address the pressing issue. Being part of a fund-raising organization that supports the health and nutrition of children, Ms. Garcia encouraged the student to donate an hour’s worth of their allowance to change a life. The same sentiment was shared by Atty. Veronica Mae C. Yan of AKAP. Atty. Yap informed the students about the Blueplate program of the Ateneo Center for Educational Development and encouraged the same to participate in the program.
The forum was followed by an exhibit also made by the class entitled “GO, GROW, GLOW: An Exhibit on Ending Hunger and Ensuring Healthy lives for Filipino Children by 2030.” The ribbon cutting held on the first day of the exhibit was done by one of the forum speakers, Ms. Garcia. Thereafter, students and professors were welcomed to view the exhibit.
A freedom board was also displayed, wherein people who passed by the exhibit during those three days were able to write and voice out their ideas, opinions and perspectives regarding the 2030 sustainable development agenda on ending hunger and ensuring healthy lives for Filipino children. There were also brochures and tarpaulins posted on boards containing information on the plight of undernourished Filipino children and what steps the Philippines has taken to address this issue. A video was also projected all throughout the exhibit which showed the present situation of Filipino children in our country today. Lastly, a UNICEF booth was set up in the exhibit to ask people who are at least 26 years old if they are interested in sponsoring children by giving consistent donations for their nourishment, sustenance and education.
The forum and exhibit were able to attain the goal of informing the student population on a specific aspect of the many problems our country faces today particularly child hunger. Hopefully, the future lawyers of Ateneo Law School will be able to make a difference and contribute in fighting child hunger in the Philippines and make it as one of their many aspirations in their lives. P