This is a guest blog written by Natalia Santos, a ONE Youth Ambassador from Brussels.
Last Thursday 7th April it was World Health Day. The perfect occasion for the 2016 ONE Youth Ambassadors of Brussels to start our difficult (but not impossible) mission: to raise awareness on nutrition, an essential tool to prevent children’s death around the globe.
As every complex mission, ours started with a planning session. First, we divided our group of more than 50 volunteers into various teams, in order to start organising actions for the year to come. Our individual teams then brainstormed ideas to campaign in the field of nutrition. We planned to organise a conference of youth leaders, to campaign in schools, and even to carry out advocacy actions in Leuven. It was incredible to hear how many ideas one can come up with in only a couple of hours (maybe finishing the stocks of a pizza restaurant also helped our thinking!).
Later on, we conducted our first action: to introduce ourselves into the Eurocrats´ “playground”, Place Luxembourg, in order to remind them about World Heath Day, and challenge them on their knowledge on nutrition through a flash quiz. They did not find our test easy!
They were surprised to find out that the most commonly consumed drink in the world, after water, was tea (and not beer!), and that chocolate, apart from being delicious, contains more anti-oxidants than blueberries. And some did not even believe the answers. They argued that it could not be possible that only 1% of development aid is devoted to nutrition programmes, or that the underlying cause of almost half of the deaths of children under 5 is malnutrition.
We believe that we managed to make people think about nutrition, a topic that is probably not in Eurocrats´ busy agendas very often. Maybe some among them will talk to their colleagues about those people who queried them while they were having a drink. Perhaps some found our flyer in their pockets the next morning and remembered our message. Others will now recall what will be at stake in the next nutrition Summit in Brazil this summer. And probably most of them will now know what ONE is and what we are doing, if only because, for a while, Place Lux was invaded by 50 people in ONE black hoodies reminding everyone about how important something as essential as nutrition can be to save millions of lives.