Space has been conquered, what about child hunger?

5 Min Read

A picture of a starving child being stalked by a vulture made headline news all over the world in the early 90s. I couldn’t have been old enough to know how to cross a busy street let alone solve simple maths problems like 5 minus 8, probably responding “it can’t,” along with a puzzled facial expression. The picture showed a starving Sudanese girl who had just collapsed on her way to a United Nations feeding station. she could hardly move or make a sound. She was that hungry. She had lost control of the use of her limbs and voice, her brain most likely shutting down and her spirit completely broken. She could have been just as old as I was then, and yet, she wasn’t grappling with simple childish things like math and street crossing problems. Rather, life and death at the hands of starvation.

Pulitzer prize winning photo by Kevin Carter showing a starving Sudanese child being stalked by a patient vulture.

I have only recently come across this picture through the Bang Bang club a partial dramatisation of this event and the life of the photographer Kevin carter who took the picture. What a sad sight. And yet despite almost 2 decades having gone by since the picture was taken, UNICEF reports that 17000 children die daily from hunger and related illnesses (1 child every 5 seconds!), this picture still holds meaning to this day.

While it is hard to look at the picture without trying to moralise, that debate has since run its course but the timeless message in the picture remains. To me the message is simply, something isn’t right. If we can allow little kids to starve to death or even go through life without enough to eat, something just isn’t right. In this age of amazing developments, where we have come from smoke signals to video chatting, hunting and gathering to genetically modified food, how can we still be unable to feed everyone on the planet? Let alone helpless children. ” We” were able to put a man on the moon over 4 decades ago but to this day “we” cant put 3 meals a day in every child’s plate. That can’t be right.

Is it not the role of every member of society and the whole world to ensure that children are protected and assisted to reach their greatest potential? Well, it should be. Clearly we are not doing what we should be. Could this be because we simply do not care? Have we gotten so carried away in our own luxuries to appreciate the suffering of other people? Yes, challenges exit in the world and particularly Africa which make efforts to feed all people very difficult. Amid all the wars, civil unrest, and political instabilities the starvation of children and young people is still inexcusable. We shouldn’t expect to overcome most social ills on this continent if the young members of our society are hungry. A hungry child cannot learn or do anything productive and is prone to violence. What more, their master becomes whoever offers them food. Imagine what other social ills can come from that.

By saying “feed the hungry”, the world does not ask for a man to be landed on another planet, far from it. Simply that the world cares enough to take the necessary steps to make food available to all people on earth especially the vulnerable and helpless children. It is not easy, thats a given. But genuine concerted efforts to that end are a good start.

If we think always with our minds and never with our hearts, we will lose our humanity.


I came across this anti-hunger campaigns which i think is quite catchy. The I billion hungry movement: I am MAD as hell! Sounds very convincing when you listen to Jeremy Irons say it on this video.

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