Laura Smyth

The idea of the children focusing in on the Sustainable Development Goals and fleshing out what it means for us locally & globally is a really effective way of highlighting global issues & making us realise how we are all part of a common humanity. What can we do to make a difference? What actions can we take? It will certainly help make our children become conscientious global citizens. It would be nice for schools to try cover all the goals over the course of a child’s school life and help raise awareness amongst the kids & community.

The goal I have chosen is Goal 2: Zero Hunger. I teach in a DEIS band 1 area & on a daily basis can see the effect of lack of food & lack of nutritious food. Local food banks have never been as busy & cannot keep up with demand as costs soar for households. Bad nutrition has an effect in so many ways from obesity to bad concentration, poor growth etc. Unhealthy choices are so readily available and are often cheaper than healthy foods. Life’s pressures can also effect what meals are made if at all. On a local level we can educate children about healthy eating through looking at meal plans, food pyramid etc but I think it is key to involve education of parents here. Local community initiatives are plentiful in our area for example Healthy Meals Made Easy & all for free. HSCL co-ordinators also run Parents Plus Healthy Families courses which teach the importance of good nutrition & meal planning in an affordable way. Primary children very often don’t have control over what they are eating so it is very important to involve families. I think as part of looking at Goal 2 we would also have to look at highlighting & reducing the food waste generated daily by the Hot Meals Programme. It would tie in nicely with looking at the global situation with hunger. Looking at the global situation with the children we could have children learn about a country or region effected by hunger -look at the daily food consumption & compare with our own, look at the daily struggles people encounter just to get food & water and also look at initiatives that have been implemented to help people overcome these issues- communities who have been educated in growing crops in adverse conditions for example. Trocaire have some good resources for looking at this. Maybe a whole school initiative one a year to support a charity that helps with world hunger could be part of the project also. Reducing food waste in the school could extend to families also, with the children bringing home their ideas.

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