I collected 285 euros out of 1,200 needed to participate in the international conference "Nutrition and Growth" in Barcelona, in January 2014. I am really grateful to all donors, however this was enough to take part in the conference.
I am now keeping the 285 euros collected to try to participate in the reknown conference "Micronutrients Initiative" which will take place in Addis Ababa in June 2014. I need to raise approximately 1,000 euros more.
Many thanks in advance for your generosity.
"What I do, and Why I do it"
When I was a child, politicians were conveniently shown on TV carrying some bags of rice to starving children in Somalia. Well, now that I am a "grown-up", now that I have became a student researcher in malnutrition, I "know". I know that 3 million children die every year of malnutrition. I know that this number was double when I was myself a child.
There has been progress. Not enough. And not with bags of rice.
In the advanced stages of severe malnutrition, children need medical assistance and ready-to-use therapeutic peanut paste. In the early stages though, children need researchers to visit their community, acknowledge their problem, assess their conditions of living, interview them and their families, collect and analyse data so as to reveal the main causes of malnutrition in their community. In area A, research may reveal that children need more than anything else a safe source of drinking water and proper toilets to avoid the torments of diarrhea, in area B that children lack healthy and empowered mothers who have time to take care of them, in area C that children cruelly lack the proximity of a safe and reliable health center where they can receive basic care and vaccinations.
After compiling their results, researchers go to conferences, international events, government meetings, ministers gathering, and by the presentation of their work, passionnately and relentlessly thrive to influence future policies, advocating for the cause of the millions of poor and neglected communities around the world.
I am passionnate about the research I do because I want every child on this planet to have access to the incredible and seemingly unattainable dream of having toilets...I want every politician and decision maker to be given so many tangible evidences of the (large scale) actions to take that they have no other choice than actually taking them...I dream of politicians who, instead of carrying bags of rice, would manage their public image by installing water and sanitation pipes in poor overcrowded districts and disregarded slum areas, or by financing informative campaigns on the benefits of vitamin-A rich orange-flesh potatoes.
This is my job. Researcher in malnutrition. Advocating by bringing evidence to policy makers. And believing.