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My Job is to feed a Hungry Child
04. April 2019 at 09:01
For a lot of Ghanaians, having an opportunity to give back to society and make a difference in the life of someone is too often imagined as a far-fetched activity, one that only well-off individuals could afford. But the reality is that, a little selfless act such as feeding a person who is hungry will directly impact the very people you interact with each and every day.

Our country is everything that surrounds us, but an individual cannot care about all of the numerous/millions of issues and problems that occurs in the country. It is realistically impossible to suffer for every appalling acts of ill in the country or perhaps, agonize over every single poor person who lacks good drinking water, hospitals, basic sanitation, quality education etc…. This is why my ambition is not to concentrate on helping the entire country or help solve the issues of the entire country now, but to focus on lending a hand to a hungry child in my neighborhood and community. I improve the country by improving a tiny part of it.

Several years ago, I was convinced that solving the problems of country was the job of the government or some authorities but not mine. I believed that, being a layperson, I had no power to make any difference, but that power to make a differences laid firmly with solely government and authorities. I was fully convinced that, I had no tool at my disposal that could enable me help in anyway. But, that was until I attended one forum I was invited to in July 2018. During the forum, all attendees were divided into groups for workshop discussions. And I took part in a workshop that was discussing the topic of volunteerism. In the discussion, I released I wasn’t the only one holding such views, as almost all the participants shared similar views - it was the job of government to solve the issues of the country and we, as youths were not equipped enough to offer any help. But at the end of the workshop, the moderator asked a simple question, "So if it falls to the government to tackle all the wicked problems, what then is your job in society?"

Stricken by reality, as I left the forum, I kept asking myself, what is my job in society? What can I do to help people who weren't or can't be recognized by authorities and helped? These are questions that we do not ask ourselves often. Too many of us are focused on the ‘struggle’ of our daily lives to even enquire on how to help people. But in all honesty, we know at the back of our minds that there are people in our societies who are living below the bread line and subsisting on a day to day basis.

Fuelled with vigor to do my part, I did some research. And strikingly, there's a struggle taking place all over the country today. According to UNICEF Ghana, it is estimated that one out of four children in parts of Ghana goes to bed hungry. And that’s bad enough, but what’s worse, the same reports concludes that over five million Ghanaians can’t afford a plate of food in a day. Similarly, Feed Hungry Children & Families Project Coordinator Mr Ibrahim Tanko contended that, over 1,200,000 children are living and struggling with hunger in Accra alone. Many of these boys and girls go to bed hungry every night, wishing they had something to fill their stomachs.

Do you know where your next meal will be coming from? Consider yourself fortunate. But, imagine waking up with the expectation of not having food to eat or going to bed with no food in your stomach. Or imagine feeling sluggish because you have nothing to fill your stomach with, thereby lacking the necessary strength to carry on with your day to day activities. This is the reality for hungry children. Sometimes it results merely in children suffering chronic malnutrition. Children who will never reach their full potential in physical or intellectual milestone. But too often, it leads to the shocking deaths of these children.

And, in each of our societies and communities, such a struggle is being waged everywhere. Because of the enormous importance of children to the future of our country, the outcome of such a struggle has immense implications for all of us – those from the affluent homes and the very poorest.

Some people will instinctively say that the answer to this struggle lies in the realms of government; and of course government has a crucial role to play. But it is clear that the dimensions of this struggle is inevitably complex and sometimes affected by nature itself, some children are orphaned at birth through no fault of theirs thereby leaving them no other choice but to languish on the fringes of society. Other children who live in disaster wreaked .communities, through no faults of theirs, also become victims of hunger.

And it's these reasons, that enjoins government, authorities, and indeed, all members of society, a responsibility to be compassionate and care for these children in need. For helping others is the first step in making society a better place and improving the lives of those who aren’t as lucky as you.

It's for these reasons, I decided it was my job to feed a hungry child. Because the potential for strengthening people of all ages and our country through giving back to society is huge and it's something that we all need to consider looking into. It can impact the way we see people and situations and encourage others to step in and help. Service as little as feeding a hungry child will have something to offer, and leave you walking away thinking about the world around you. Just imagine what our country would be if everyone took the time to feed a hungry child.

Am not suggesting we should all suddenly turn into Mother Teresa and become a symbol for charity. Each and every one of us has got our lives to live. But, I just hope that maybe, just maybe, this would inspire you to find your job and obligations to your society. If it is my job to feed a hungry child, what is yours?

Cite This Article As: Nana Kwaku M Asamoah. "My Job is to feed a Hungry Child." International Youth Journal, 04. April 2019.

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