Nutrition, a Child’s Right, a Responsibility For All

Sofia* is 10 ½. For some time, she has not been going to school. Instead, she sells small rolls in front of the door of her house. “I have to sell at least 5 rolls if I want to eat”, she responds to me when I ask her why she’s not in school.

It’s unfortunate because three of Sofia’s most important rights are not being respected: education, child labor, and nutrition.

The reason I’m choosing to speak about nutrition is because in my neighborhood, the children are not always nourished on a daily basis. Even though malnutrition is the root of many problems in society. For example, a child who is not well nourished will not be capable of playing, studying, or participating in sports. He might also fall ill and cannot grow properly.

Yesterday evening, I also spoke with a 12 year-old girl who lives close to my house.

She told me that since the death of her father, she and her brother have not been eating like before. The days where her mother works all day at the market and returns late, they aren’t able to eat at all.

Perrine-Piton-UNICEF-DRC-B11C0330-640x427But nutrition is a child’s right and a parent’s duty. Each parent has the responsibility to nourish daily his or her children to ensure proper growth. Of course, with a lack of resources or work, it’s sometimes very difficult for them. International institutions are trying to resolve this issue but there are many malnourished children in the DRC. And, they cannot do this for all the children.

This problem, according to me, has a root cause: poverty. This is the reason for which, if we wish to change this situation, the State has to organize itself in such a way that all parents are capable of nourishing their child. I would also ask all the children to note those around them who are malnourished and to share what little they can.

Each child has a right to healthy food so they can grow, and it is the responsibility of all, parents, the government, international institutions, and even children themselves to guarantee that each child has healthy food and can be sufficiently nourished.

*Name has been changed

Photos: UNICEF RDC / Perrine Piton

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Keulliana a 14 ans et elle étudie la gestion informatique et l'économie au Lycée Toyokana à Kinshasa. Passionnée par la défense de la liberté d'expression des enfants, elle adore chanter et danser.

Keulliana is 14 years old and is studying Information Technology Management and Economics at Toyokana Senior High School in Kinshasa. She is passionate about freedom of expression for children and adores singing and dancing.

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