Raising awareness is one of the most important steps in preventing and solving malnutrition. We can all raise awareness on different levels. If we contribute even at the personal level this will amplify the affects through the tiers of society.
Communicating to people
Talking to family and friends about malnutrition is a great way to raise awareness for the issue. Whether it is about malnutrition at the personal level or talking about kids in the developing world.
Start a website
Starting a website like this thinkquest one can allow you to broadcast to the masses. Anyone in the world with access to the internet can read what you have to say. Whether it is in Africa or Australia, the message you want to raise can be heard. If you want to reach a wide audience a good place to start is thinkquest.
You may want to put posters up around school/work if your teachers/boss lets you that advocate helping those who are malnourished. if people are exposed to the suffering of the malnourished they will understand and perhaps help in some capacity those that are suffering.
Lobbying and Rallies
Often the source of malnutrition in workplaces and at schools is what they sell at the cafeteria. By lobbying them to sell more healthy foods you not only help others in balancing their diets but also raise awareness of the issue. You can write letters to the management of the cafeteria, start a petition or simply talk to the staff.
You may want to refer to the healthier generation site here for resources on healthier eating at schools.
A good way to raise awareness is to lobby local businesses to help out in an aspect of malnutrition. This could be in the form of placing pamphlets and posters in their business, getting them to donate, getting them to talk to customers, sell goods that will send a % of the money to the malnourished or even simply getting them to help the community in some capacity.
You can lobby governments to combat malnutrition. This can regard to combating malnutrition in your own country, helping combat malnutrition in other countries or simply asking them to target the underlying causes of malnutrition. You can lobby them by sending them letters, sending in a petition or requesting to see your local government representative. This resource provided by citizensconnection gives ideas on how to effectively lobby your government.
If you create a big enough impact in bringing awareness to an issue you may be able to create major headlines around the world. While most of us do not have the ability to do so, if we try together it may be possible. Rallies and protests often bring an idea to the attention all around the world. You may want to search for possible rallies whcih raise awareness for ideas related to malnutrition, such as poverty.
You can start a major fundraiser in your community to help fight malnutrition. This may be in the form of a local market, a fair or even a carnival. this may take a lot of organisation, but it will ultimately raise not only a lot of money for your cause but also awareness. Here is a guide from worldforworld.org on how to plan a special event.
You can hold mini-fundraisers at work or school. Selling badges, ribbons, getting sponsorship for an event or simply asking for donations are good ways to raise money for combating malnutrition. Events such as the thirty hour famine hosted by world vision are perfect ways to raise money and awareness for malnutrition. By asking people to donate, you also explain to them what you are raising money for. A few ways to hold mini-fundraisers:
- Thirty Hour Famine: The thirty hour famine is a perfect way to raise money and awareness for malnutrition. Small groups have raised thousands of dollars to help those that need adequate nutrition. You dont' eat for 30 hours to experience what it is like to go hungry while at the same time raising money through sponsorship. You can ask people you know to sponsor you small amounts of money and together it will add up to quite a substantial amount of money.
- The Hunger Site: Simply by clicking on a few links, you raise sponsorship money for the hunger site. ALL the proceeds go directly to charity. Over 300 milion cups of rice have been purchased through this, a truly phenomenal result. Get your friends, family and colleagues to click on this a few times a day and together you will make a huge difference.
- FreeRice: The game on this site tests your vocabulary while at the same time helping people around the world. Every word you correctly define results in 20 free grains of rice being donated.
Start a charity
It is daunting starting a charity, there is a lot of work involved but if you are succesful you will be able to reach a lot of people who are suffering from malnutrition. These guides at wikihow and charityvillage may help you start a charity if you are interested.
Start a coin collection
Do you have loose change on you? Do your own a business? Often people deal with a lot of loose change in their lives, this could be due to buying or selling. Why not put a coin collection box in an open area where people can put their loose change in. While small coins may not seem to do a lot, over time it can accumulate to a substantial amount.
You can start a petition or sign one regarding the causes of malnutrition. Often the best way of sovling a problem is targeting the causes. Signing a petition against a corrupt government which is stealing food from its citizens may not trigger them to stop, but, it may convince your government to take action such as sanctions against them.
- Darfur Petition: Darfur is a region in sudan where civil war has led to many being killed, falling into poverty and experiencing malnutrition. The government of sudan continues to support the civil war. Click here to sign the petition to ask president bush of the united states of america to end the darfur genocide.
- McGovern-Dole campaign: This petition is to convince senators in the United States to take action and expand nutritional programs regarding education and childhood nutrition.
- Campaign against malnutrition: Patalgarh village is a village in india which is experiencing chronic malnutrition. The petition is addressed to the indian government asking for support.
- http://www.webtribe.net/~campaign/lobby government.pdf