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Focus On Famine: Group drumming up support for mothers

The United Nations has declared famine in some parts of South Sudan, and warns other countries are on the brink.

Danny Glenwright, executive director of Action Against Hunger, is helping lead a campaign to support mothers in countries facing famine.

Eduardo Lima / Metro Order this photo

Danny Glenwright, executive director of Action Against Hunger, is helping lead a campaign to support mothers in countries facing famine.

A trip to East Africa last fall changed Danny Glenwright’s perspective on the famine crisis affecting millions of people.

The executive director of Action Against Hunger Canada was visiting various projects the charity group runs in the region, helping to build resilience in communities affected by food shortage and drought. That’s when he realized the crisis was inflicting more burden to women and young mothers.

“You see moms walking miles from across the desert with their babies,” he said, describing a semi-nomadic lifestyle that forces people to move around searching for water. “It’s shocking. There’s just not been so much attention paid to some of these places and the issues they’re facing.”

His organization wants Canadian mothers to know about the plight of these women – and to lend a helping hand. A new campaign, Care for Mom, is working with yoga studios and gyms across the country to drum up a “mother to mother” support.

Glenwright said the goal of the campaign is to show Canadian mothers to the issue of food insecurity that’s affecting other mothers, and that they can make a difference.

The United Nations has already declared a state of famine in some parts of South Sudan, and has warned that three other countries – Somalia, northern Nigeria and Yemen – could soon fall into the same situation if humanitarian efforts are not increased.

Action Against Hunger already has mom-to-mom support programs in a dozen African countries, with older mothers helping younger ones in maternal self-care. The group also operates “baby tents” where displaced mothers can securely feed their newborns.  

Glenwright adds the campaign is about sharing a sense of responsibility and support across borders and continents.

“This is just to say to Canadians ‘look, there are moms like you on the other side of the world who are just struggling to take care of themselves.’”

Help needed:

  • The United Nations says it needs $4.4 billion to avert the full-blown famine situation in South Sudan, Somalia, northern Nigeria and Yemen. As of mid-April, only $984 million had been secured.
  • How you can help: To learn more about the campaign and to donate, visit actioncontrelafaim.ca  

 

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