Statistics convey that Sub-Saharan Africa continues to bear the burden of undernourished children in the world. Unless something drastic is done, the achievement of related Sustainable Development Goals by African countries remains elusive. Malnutrition has tangible impacts on the economy and social development, by undermining potential future earnings by as much as 20%, as well as inhibiting economic growth by as much as 3% of Gross Domestic Product.
In Nigeria, the poor nutritional status of under-five children is alarming as malnutrition prevalence especially stunting in some states is higher than the regional average. However, Nigeria has tried to address the issue of malnutrition as several initiatives have been launched locally to address nutrition issues. but the missing link has been youth involvement.
The Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Network (SUN CSN) launched the Youth Leadership Grant in April 2021 to support the contribution that Youth Leaders for Nutrition are making to the SUN movement and the fight against malnutrition globally. Under the Youth Leadership Grant, some funding was made available to CS-SUNN for a three-month period (April to June, 2021) to facilitate their work with SUN CSN Youth Leader for Nutrition in Nigeria, Maryam Ahmed.
The project seeks to support National efforts of ensuring that malnutrition is addressed in Nigeria through creating awareness campaigns on nutrition among young people using various forms of social media communication. Its three major objectives are to:
1) increase knowledge, awareness and participation of Nigerian youths on issues relating to nutrition.
2) harness the power of social media in educating young persons
3) participate and contribute meaningfully in NCN activities within the project life circle. The key expected result at the end of the project is increased knowledge and engagement of Nigerian youths on nutrition issues.
The beneficiaries of the project are the Nigerian youths and general public. CS-SUNN, in collaboration with the SUN CSN Youth Leader for nutrition, has conducted series of Live radio discussion programs, social media campaigns and published articles in newspapers around increasing the knowledge, awareness and participation of Nigerian youths on issues related to nutrition.