The Challenge: How to end hunger by 2030?
In 2016, 22.9% of children under 5 years of age—154.8 million globally—suffered from stunted growth. Stunting can result from many factors, like socioeconomic status, dietary intake, infections, maternal nutritional status, infectious diseases, micronutrient deficiencies, and environmental causes.
Stunted children with deficiencies of iodine and iron can suffer irreversible brain damage. They are less likely to receive an education. The impacts of stunting can follow them to adulthood: They will have a higher susceptibility to chronic diseases and reduced adult income. Stunted and wasted children also have a higher mortality risk, which increases when the two conditions coexist in the same population.
The Lead2030 Challenge for SDG2, supported by RB, has launched a global search for impactful youth-led initiatives that have helped tackle stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age or address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, older persons, or pregnant and lactating women.
Bonita Sharma, SOCHAI
SOCHAI is a youth led initiative focused on improving health and nutrition for vulnerable people through education, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
At the core of SOCHAI's social business model is the belief that global malnutrition can be prevented by simple, accessible, affordable solutions.
As a part of the 'Youth For Nutrition' project, SOCHAI are implementing several innovative, community-based learning programs that are accelerating impact for SDG 2 - Zero Hunger - aiming to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030, with a focus on women, adolescent girls, and the elderly.
The project is a combination of educational services and products designed to maximise output. SOCHAI create and implement educational programmes for different groups, like health workers, mothers' groups, adolescent girls and school children. To provide this service, Bonita and her team select, train and recruit young volunteers working at ground level to implement these programmes.
In addition, SOCHAI have created innovative tools such as the ‘Nutribeads Bracelet,’ a low-tech educational bracelet that helps mothers learn how to feed their children in their critical first two years.
SOCHAI are incorporating social entrepreneurship into its non-profit model by involving local artisans and women in making and selling Nutribead Bracelets, helping them to find a way out of poverty and malnutrition.
Bonita’s team have already aided 600+ mothers and children and 3000+ adolescents through SOCHAI’s community-based learning programmes, all led by young advocates. Through online campaigns, they have reached almost 90,000 people with information on breastfeeding, combating taboos about menstruation, complementary feeding, and other public health issues.
“In the world where youth are still considered as mere beneficiaries, Lead2030 has uphold the power of young people and fuelled our determination to solve the global challenge of hunger and malnutrition.
Thank you, One Young World and RB, for selecting SOCHAI as the winner of Lead2030 challenge. We are highly moved and motivated by the commitment and action from the leaders and stakeholders to support us.”