Saturday 27 August 2011

Hunger Is A Crime; Not One Less Kid

The Hunger Is a Crime; Not One Less Kid campaign as such has been carried out for several years within the Movimiento Nacional de los Chicos del Pueblo (National Movement of the Children of the People) network as a massive intervention way of raising public awareness and of fostering a critical and conscientious thinking on the condition and position of boys, girls and adolescents, and on hunger as an issue that strikes their lives.

The purpose of the “Hunger Is a Crime; Not One Less Kid” campaign is to raise awareness, in the different members of society, of the magnitude of the problem of hunger in children of Argentina and the urgent need to treat it as a priority within the scope of a current social project that grants a different future to boys, girls and youngsters.

Some of the main achievements have been: the spread and consolidation of the “Hunger Is a Crime; Not One Less Kid” campaign at a national level; the realization of a March for Life every year at the end of each campaign; the training of 100 educators at Escuela de Educadores Populares (School for Popular Educators) per year; and the multiplying action done by Pelota de Trapo News Agency reaching 60.000 subscribers to the electronic bulletin in Spanish, 15.000 to the bulletin in English, and 4.000 subscribers to the magazine.

The 400 organizations that make up this movement managed to consolidate the  Campaign through the realization of national marches, covering more than 4.500 Km each, all across and along the national territory, such as La Quiaca-Buenos Aires (2001),  Misiones-Buenos Aires  (2002), Tucumán-Buenos Aires  (2005) and Misiones-Buenos Aires (2007); and regional marches such as  Rawson,  Bariloche,  Aluminé,  El Dorado,  Mendoza and  Tucumán for children’s rights; acts and local marches that closed with a massively attended March in Buenos Aires (2008); and the Launching Act in Santa Fe and Closing Act at Santa Cruz Parish, B.A.(2009). (
Bicycle rides, living nativity cribs, marches “crossing the scars of poverty” turn the Movement into a powerful symbolic reference, developing a way to approach children and youngsters, a theoretical basis out of foundational values: the conception of the child as a political individual, an integral approach, the strengthening of the protagonism of the whole society in the building up of collective answers.

In Argentina, according to UNICEF, 25 children under 1 year of age die per day due to preventable causes, and more than half of the total number of children live under the poverty line. Nevertheless, the predominant discourse in the media and in society has been to deny their life conditions and blame them for the problems of insecurity they face nowadays, suggesting, among other things, tougher punishment measures should be taken.

Hunger is a crime because it annihilates the prodigy of life, and Argentina is immensely rich, a food producer for more than 300 million people. That is why the situation boys and girls are going through is clearly the result of lack of political will and a form of culture that has nested in the very heart of a society which has decided to get protected against children instead of protecting them.

It was thus necessary to generate a striking, plural, innovating action to win over the collective imaginary, promote the debate and build spaces for the collective construction of a fairer society that respects children and youths’ rights and voices. That is to say, to come up with an effective process of public incidence built from the articulated work of different social organizations.

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