A campaign aimed at ensuring the right to food, food safety and health began with the pledges made by youths to achieve the objectives through personal action and advocacy.
Youths from 18 countries, including Bangladesh, USA, Canada, Ireland, Brazil, Switzerland and China, took oaths at the campaign titled ‘Act4Food Act4Change’ held virtually on Tuesday evening.
‘Act4Food Act4Change’ is a global youth-led movement promising to achieve sustainable global food systems that provide all people with access to healthy and sustainable diets.
Switzerland-based organization ‘Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)’ and UK-based non-government organization ‘The Food Foundation’ jointly facilitated the virtual programme from their respective locations.
UK and Ireland governments are associate partners.
The campaign will also be carried out in social media platforms such as Facebook, youtube, twitter and instagram. The campaign, being held ahead of United Nation Food System Summit, will continue till September this year.
The event is likely to be extended later.
The programme was told that supply of nutritious and safe foods for people has become a challenging task recently due to Covid-19 situation. Hence, it is imperative to ensure the availability of those foods with the combined efforts of all concerned along with raising awareness of people.
Dipty Chowdhury, a youth leader of UN Food System Summit Action Track-1 and representative of Bhalo Khabo Bhaloa Thakbo campaign of GAIN Bangladesh; Rayan Kassem, Regional Director Youth4Nature, Lebanon; Priya Prakash, Founder HealthSetGo, India; Sophie Healy; Food system and nutrition advocate & Lead Group member of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement (SUN), Ireland; among others, spoke at the event.
Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland, has given video message for the campaign.
Femi Oke, internationally renowned journalist, moderated the event.
In her address, Dipty Chowdhury, youth leader of Bangladesh said, “I want to see nutritious food as a basic right and get rid of all the cheap junk food that is now readily available to us”.
In a statement, Dr. Rudaba Khondker, Country Director of GAIN Bangladesh, said, “Youths especially the girls and young women can shape the food systems for affordable nutritious and safe food for all. During Covid, its importance has become even more crucial and critical”.
Both of them said, Bangladesh can take the lead in line with global pledge by engaging members of Nutrition Clubs across the country and raise awareness on healthy diets among students.
The success of “Bhalo Khabo Bhalo Thakbo” campaign, supported by GAIN Bangladesh, is that more than 1 million adolescents have so far pledged to consume better food. It has worked as an inspiration to this global youth movement and initiative.
“Bhalo Khabo Bhalo Thakbo” is an ongoing campaign in Bangladesh where any adolescent can take part in it.