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The Reasons for World Hunger
Teaching children about world hunger is an important component in creating compassionate, responsible world citizens. However, the topic is daunting and difficult for children to understand. Choose age-appropriate school projects that focus on clear causes and positive solutions. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, over 800 million people are malnourished in a given year. The reasons for world hunger are complex; they include lack of resources such as viable land and water, lack of education and lack of accessibility. Corrupt governments may divert or seize resources. Hunger is also more prevalent in countries facing political unrest.
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School Project Ideas for Elementary Age Students
Define what hunger is. Hunger is when humans don't have access to adequate clean, healthy food. Create a map showing the countries most affected by hunger. Research the kinds of food people need everyday to stay healthy and which foods are the easiest to grow, transport and store.
Hunger affects people in your community, as well as people in other countries. Visit a local food bank and report on what you learn there. Hold a food drive. Older children can help serve food at homeless shelters.
Join forces with an organization that fights world hunger like Heifer International. Heifer International is a non-profit organization that donates livestock to villagers in underdeveloped countries. From the livestock, villagers obtain wool, milk, eggs, honey and meat which they can use for personal use or sell. In addition, they agree to give offspring to another family, improving that family's situation, as well. Raise money with your class to buy livestock through Heifer International. Make a graph depicting all the animals available to buy and allow your classmates to vote on which animal they'd like to buy. Your class will learn about graphing and counting as they learn about ending world hunger.
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Middle and High School Projects
Make a chart describing sustainable agriculture practices. Sustainable agricultural practices focus on three components: economic profitability, environmental health and social and economic equality. Several companies, including General Mills, are currently working with under-developed countries to teach villagers better ways of accessing water and using land. Some issues to explore include crop diversity, improving soil, avoiding deforestation and finding markets.
One of the major obstacles developing countries face in reducing poverty and improving their financial situation is that of competing fairly in a global market. Wealthier, more powerful countries wield considerable power over these countries and often forge unfair trade agreements, leaving poorer countries burdened with debt. Write a report about the issue of fair trade. Research the impact consumers' choices have on the world economy and discuss positive choices consumers can make, including purchasing items designated with the fair trade symbol and shopping locally.
Write a report on William Kamkwamaba. Kamkwamaba and his family lived in a small village in Malawi that had niether electricity or running water. When Kamkwamaba was forced to leave school at the age of thirteen because his parents couldn't pay the tuition, he kept up his studies by reading at the library. He became inspired to build windmills for his village after reading a book on the subject. He prowled through junkyards, searching for parts to build the mills and eventually succeeded in bringing electricity and well water to his village. The book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, chronicles his inspiring story. Build a windmill model or provide a visual that demonstrates how windmills work.
- BBC News, Malawi windmill boy with big fans.