Grace, age 14, lives in the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Northwestern Uganda. Grace, along with her parents, her nine siblings and eight other orphan children traveled across the Ugandan border fleeing from South Sudan during the country’s civil war. Rise Against Hunger’s impact partner Feed the Hungry established a school nutrition program in the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement School, and the Rise Against Hunger meals provided through this program are crucial to ensuring students attend class each day.
Grace dreams of becoming a doctor one day in order to help the people of Sudan, a dream she knows she can only attain if she stays in school. Many of Grace’s peers struggle in school due to the atrocities they witnessed in South Sudan. Several of the students are the heads of their households in the refugee settlement and sacrifice their own meals to provide for their siblings. As the population of the camp continues to grow, the assistance provided by Rise Against Hunger and Feed the Hungry is more important than ever to ensure the continuation of education and opportunities among refugee children.
In addition to food, educational supplies for the school and funding for everyday necessities are desperately needed at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. Many of these needs can be met through foreign aid assistance. But cuts to funding for global development programs would undermine the progress of students like Grace, while threatening the futures of millions more. This is merely one example of a community that could benefit from collective advocacy efforts. Around the world, there are many more just like it. Our calling is clear: We must speak up for those in need.
In 2016, Rise Against Hunger distributed meals and other aid to 43 countries — including Uganda — that served 1,040,351 people. This milestone accomplishment was made possible with the support of passionate donors and volunteers all over the world. But we can’t slow down now — we strive every day to end hunger for the 792.5 million people around the globe who do not get the food they need to live a healthy life.
Our 2016 impact reflects just how many people want to be part of the movement to end world hunger and poverty by 2030. Worldwide, more than 1 million people volunteered in 2016 with Rise Against Hunger. That is a powerful number and quite a powerful voice. One that needs to be heard. Here at Rise Against Hunger we are raising our voice and fighting hunger not only through meal packaging and sustainable development projects, but through our growing advocacy initiative.
Advocacy can take many forms. It can include direct contact with an elected official or other policy makers through letter writing, phone calls or in-person meetings. It can also mean raising public awareness through providing general education around the issue of world hunger as well as joining targeted campaigns. Here at Rise Against Hunger, we are constantly generating new advocacy actions for our network of hunger champions. When you sign up to become an advocate, you’ll receive email alerts to prompt you to take action. We will provide you with everything you need, including necessary background information, talking points and specific action steps to help guide you on your advocacy journey.
Here are a few things you can do right now to start your journey: