The Extra Plate & Save the Children

Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to attend Save the Children Canada’s panel discussion about The Extra Plate on World Food Day.

It was simply one of the top events I’ve attended as a blogger.

A lovely evening in general, we were treated to an introduction by Pulitzer winning journalist Sheryl WuDunn who told us about her (and her husband’s) experiences with the power that girls can wield to help the world, their families and indeed themselves if simply given the chance. The numbers and statistics on girls in particular and the gender discrimination they suffer from worldwide, were mind-boggling to put it mildly.

But there was much hope. And the emphasis was put on that.

And that’s why I was impressed so much by this event and this organization. They focus on the positive and the little things that have a big impact.

The panel consisted of Dr. Stanley Zlotkin, Dr. Jane Philpott and Patricia Erb (President & CEO of Save the Children) and all relayed their experiences both with the organization and with the issues of hunger and proper medical treatment as a whole.

I found it enlightening and empowering to know that simple methods and actions can have such a monumental impact for those in need. Something as simple as a fortified peanut butter (aka Plumpy Nut Butter) has saved millions of lives. It’s a stop-gap, but an effective one. Other simple acts like sterilizing instruments, which is second nature to us, is something that has and continues to make huge inroads.

Education is the key. It feeds the need for infrastructure that needs to be in place and you need to educate on how to do that effectively. It also feeds the need for human resources to become available. Dr. Philpott emphasized the need for educated medical personnel and the now growing number of medical schools and graduates in Niger and the impact these citizens can now make towards helping their own people.

Simply put, the evening was inspiring. And the organization definitely worth a peek.

Here’s their video from the evening, you may have seen it on my Facebook page, but it clearly illustrates how a little bit ($40) can make a massive difference in another place.

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