Moses loves the alphabet. He is in the "Baby Class"
(kindergarten) at the little primary school tucked away among the
fields of corn. Every morning, when the time comes to recite the
alphabet, he shouts the "A, B, C, Ds..." as loud as he can without
Really, Moses loves everything about school. He loves lining up
with his class. He loves the counting. He loves learning to write
his name. He loves the row of picture books carefully stacked on
the rough piece of lumber that serves as the bookshelf for his
classroom. He loves the exercises the class does outside in a big
circle around the teacher under the morning sunshine.
The only thing that diminishes Moses' delight about going to
school is how hungry his belly gets sometimes. Like most of the
families in the village, Moses' family cannot really afford more
than two meals a day for their children. And there are plenty of
days when one meal is the best they can do. Moses still
shouts his ABCs and his picture books, but it does dampen his smile
a bit when his belly is empty and aching.
I have often thought that the world's governments should
consider hiring my mother to solve the problem of world hunger. If
you enter her house, she will have a fruit platter and an
assortment of snacks at the ready within no more than 5 minutes
flat. She will feed dozens of people without blinking an eye, and
there is always food to spare. My mother would make sure that no
child ever goes to bed hungry.
Sadly, my mother's skills have not yet been deployed to combat
global malnutrition. Hunger and
malnutrition are still the number one threats to the health of
children and adults worldwide. The numbers are insane -870
million people worldwide (1 in 8!) suffering from undernutrition.
Syria. Zimbabwe. Ethiopia.
The world's children are hungry.
Know. Act. Love. I'm still a fan of this 3-step plan to address
the world's mind-boggling problems.
So here is an act that helps Moses - and the rest of his class -
keep smiling and learning and bouncing through the school day: pour
them a small meal of porridge. One cup, and a kindergarten class is
reborn into the vigorous little learners that they should be.
I'm even happy to say that my mom helped with that. (This is
how I say happy birthday to my mom. I'm always giving away her
presents in distant places. But I know she loves to feed