Zero Hunger Children’s Drawing Competition 2021
In 2019, around 135 million people across the world were in a state of extreme food crisis, suffering from hunger or malnutrition caused by climate change, conflicts, or economic crises. Since this time, it has become especially clear that crises, like climate change and the Covid-19 Pandemic, have severe impacts on our food systems, and consequently on the health and nutrition of millions of people. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, Zero Hunger, aims to combat this issue. In 2021, HYEF sponsored the “SDG 2 Zero Hunger” Children’s Drawing Competition; an opportunity for school-aged children to reflect their concerns on both food and environmental security. The competition, which had 1181 entries from students spanning across Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, educated students on the SDGs and why in particular SDG 2 Zero Hunger is important.
The competition taught children how achieving this goal is essential, as hunger creates a barrier to sustainable development, while alternatively, nutrition has positive effects on sustainable economic and social development, equality, education, and health. It also taught children how they can contribute to the achievement of this goal, by making changes to their own lifestyles. This includes making sustainable food choices like supporting local food, not wasting food, and eating ugly fruits and vegetables. SDG 2 also teaches young girls to make choices that address their nutritional needs, in order to prevent deficiencies which are common in women. Lastly, the competition not only taught children to appreciate food, but also their own lives and situations, as they learnt about the effects of malnutrition on children their age across the world.
Overall, the children were able to take away from the competition lessons on the appreciation of food, and the importance of nutrition and sustainable living, especially for children in Australia and New Zealand, where crises that affect food and nutrition are not as prevalent. The competition was ultimately valuable in showcasing why we should be mindful and appreciative of our lives and opportunities in these parts of the world.
The competition allocated three Buddha’s Light Awards to children across three age groups: Category A (5-7 yrs), Category B (8-10 yrs), and Category C (11-12 yrs). The winners were: