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Stories from the Field

This International Day of the African Child, We Recognize the Importance of Education and Nutrition in Central Africa

By Amanda Whitmyer on June 16, 2023

Commemorated every year on June 16, International Day of the African Child is a day to remember and honor the lives of the brave children who protested in 1976 in Soweto, South Africa, seeking access to higher-quality education. International Day of the African Child also serves to recognize and inspire people across the globe to address the challenges that children in Africa face daily, including food insecurity.

At Rise Against Hunger, we work with in-country partners to distribute nourishing meals, often through school feeding programs, which improve access to education and daily nourishment from the meals provided at school. We know the journey toward self-reliance and bright futures out of hunger and poverty starts with a meal for students like 14-year-old Bavon in Central Africa. 

Bavon lives near Lubumbashi, one of the largest cities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both of his parents have passed away, so he now lives at Magone, a boarding center run by our partner Salesian Missions, where he receives nutritious Rise Against Hunger meals containing 20 vitamins and minerals. 

Helen, a community partner, explained that Bavon’s unstable childhood caused him to previously get sick often, but now she’s noticed that his health has improved. Bavon said, “Since I have started eating [the meals], my health has improved due to the vitamins that are found in the meal.”

Bavon also attends a primary school near Magone. He is in the sixth grade with dreams of becoming a builder. He said the meals provided at Salesian Missions boarding center give him the strength to focus on his studies to achieve that dream. 

The adults around him believe he will achieve his dream, too. Nicole, an organizational coordinator at Salesian Missions, said, “He embodies hope and seems to be motivated for a better future.” Helen agreed, saying, “He is a boy who dreams of one day being a builder and, given the way he studies, he will eventually achieve his goal of being a great builder.”

Will you join the movement to end hunger this International Day of the African Child?  Hope thrives alongside nutrition. Together, we can continue to provide meals across the globe in support of overcoming food insecurity and hunger by paving the way toward a brighter future for children like Bavon.