A WOOLER woman has described the sights she saw in Bangladesh after returning from a trip to launch a national charity campaign.
Lynsey Pollard, who grew up in and around the north Northumberland village, is a Save the Children campaigner and visited the country ahead of a global initiative which aims to focus on malnutrition and nutrition-related issues.
While there she met celebrity Myleene Klass, who has given her backing to the campaign.
Lynsey said: “Before travelling to Bangladesh, I knew the statistics. Half of all families survive on less than $1 per day. Half of all children are stunted , meaning short for their age as a result of long term malnutrition. Children who are stunted often die prematurely as a result of their vital organs never fully developing during childhood.
“When writing about development and emergency issues regularly, numbers like these can easily just become words, words that fit into reports and voiceover scripts, quantifying everything nicely and tidily, giving gravitas and authority to the smallest of sentences.
“But from the second we arrived in Dhaka, those statistics became faces. They became mothers and fathers with life stories.
“The people we met don’t even know that they’re playing a part in the reality of a global food crisis, affecting millions of people all over the world.
“Imagine surviving on one or two small bowls of rice for a day. mixed with potatoes, sometimes, as a special treat. One green chilli will sometimes spice up the rice but this is as close to a vegetable many of the families will get.
“Vegetables are considered non-essential ‘seasoning’ and as such are left out of most people’s diet. With no fridges or freezers, food is left out uncovered for hours on end, leading to families getting sick.
“The thoughts of the mothers we met were dominated by the need to survive. They are hungry, their children are hungry and their lives are hard and relentlessly painful.”