Hi, I'm Jill the dietitian. I like helping people to eat better, having adventures, trying new foods, and going new places. This year I have decided to take my support for World Vision to the next level and combine it with a challenge to combine my love of travel and adventure with a good cause - improving the nutrition and early childhood development and primary school education for children in Cambodia. I believe that all children have the right to get an education, particularly around the primary school years.
When I was in primary school it was all about who my best friend was and what I had for lunch that day. It was usually a Chinese food item that I would try to trade away for a peanut butter sandwich!
But seriously, when I read about the statistics around child and maternal health in Vietnam and Cambodia and the barriers that are involved in getting access to food and a basic primary education, I knew I had to get involved.
In Cambodia, mothers are dying during childbirth at a rate of 250 per 100,000 live births. In Australia our maternal mortality rate is 8 in every 100,000 live births. The Under five mortality rate in Cambodia is 43 per 1000 live births. In Australia the rate is 5 per 1000.
Malnutrition is attributable to around 1/3 of child deaths in Cambodia. Around 20% of Cambodians cannot afford enough food. It is a similar case in Vietnam in rural areas. Malnutrition can not only lead to sickness and death for many children but it can also stunt mental and physical development. Water and Sanitation are things we take for granted here but in Cambodia 10,000 people die every year from diarrhoea because they do not have access to safe water and sanitation. Children suffer the most - diarrhoea is one of the biggest killers of children in Cambodia.
Acute respiratory infections including pneumonia are the largest cause of death in Cambodia, and TB is a preventable disease that has been prevented here in the developed world but many people in Cambodia suffer from and are unable to access treatment to get medicine.
I have decided to support World Vision in its aims to improve living conditions of all families in its efforts to develop areas of Vietnam and Battambang, Cambodia.
Focus areas of the development programs are:
-Fighting malnutrition in children under 5
- Increase the quality of education for primary school students
- Empowering youth to be creative and active citizens in order to shape them as the next generation of leaders; and
- Protect children from abuse and exploitation.
On November 30th I am going to cycle across Vietnam into Cambodia to visit the Battambang region to see first hand the work of World Vision and I am fundraising for Total Reading Approach for Children (TRAC) kits for use in local schools for primary school aged children who don't get the education or opportunities that I did. This is part of the allchildrenreading.org Grand Challenge for Development supported by World Vision, Australian Aid and US Aid. Read more about this here http://allchildrenreading.org/about-us/problem/
It will involve me sweating it out and riding a bicycle overland around 40km daily to visit these areas and see first hand the landscape for the Vietnamese and Cambodian people World Vision are trying to support.
I've pledged to raise $5,000 for this trip and have made it my personal mission to achieve this goal. Please check out or share my link. Every amount counts, but just $60 a month can help a Cambodian family to receive enough to eat and get an education.
Thanks for reading!