December 19, 2012
WASHINGTON – In this Advent Season when we reflect on Mary’s Song of Praise to the Lord (Luke 1:46-55), Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) is pleased to announce that Women of Faith for the 1,000 Days Movement has joined the ranks of fifty plus denominations and national faith-based advocacy organizations as sponsors of the EAD’s national gathering, April 5-8, 2013, titled, “At God’s Table: Food Justice for a Healthy World.” — REGISTER HERE!
Women of Faith for the 1,000 Days Movement is a collection of church women in the United States who advocate for better nutrition for women and children in the 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday.
“I am thrilled that Women of Faith for the 1,000 Days Movement is co-sponsoring EAD this year. The theme, At God’s Table: Food Justice for a Healthy World has such a great connection to the issues of access and education so critical for the 1,000 days movement. We hope to have lots of conversations with all of our friends at EAD!” says Nancy Neal, associate for denominational women’s organization relations at Bread for the World.
Bread for the World has partnered with women from 17 denominations and church organizations in the 1,000 Conversations Campaign in which they pledge to have 1,000 conversations in 1,000 days about maternal and child nutrition. Women (and men) are having conversations on Facebook, in coffee shops, in their homes with their friends, at their churches, in their playgroups, on blogs, and with their members of congress about simple and cost-effective strategies for improving nutrition and why the 1,000 days window is so critical.
1,000 is the approximate number of days between the beginning of a pregnancy through a child’s second birthday. Research shows that poor nutrition in this critical window can have long-term effects on children, communities, and even countries. Every hour, 300 children die due to malnutrition. 30% of under-5 child deaths in the world are related to malnutrition. Children who survive suffer long-term effects. 40% of African children and 36% of Asian children are stunted, meaning they are too short for their age and may never reach their full potential height. They can experience cognitive delays that affect school performance and work productivity as they grow older. Weakened immune systems lead to greater susceptibility to disease and higher healthcare costs. All of this can have an impact of a 2-3% reduction in Gross Domestic Product each year in developing countries. But the good news is by improving nutrition for women, particularly during pregnancy and lactation, and children under 2, we can make significant improvement in their lives, their communities, and their countries. Focusing on nutrition in this critical window is the most cost-effective way to end hunger and malnutrition.