Research, Teaching, and Outreach: Investigating World Hunger Solutions through the MFS Global Challenge Project

By Sreehita Hajeebu ‘23

The annual seventh grade Global Challenge Project prompts students to design potential solutions for a UN Sustainable Development Goal. Sreehita Hajeebu ’23 was inspired by her experience on the Global Hunger project and continued her exploration of the subject in the following months. Here, Sreehita reflects on her findings and outlines her ideas for future work.

Last year, I worked on the topic “Global Hunger” as my 7th grade global challenge project and had the opportunity to do a lot of research on the internet. In the two weeks we were given, our group worked together tenaciously to create a plan to eliminate hunger in Bangladesh.

We concluded that the problem isn’t that Bangladeshis don’t have enough food; it’s that they don’t have enough money to buy healthy food.  About 1 in 4 Bangladeshis (24.3% of the population) live in poverty, and 12.9% of the population have to deal with extreme poverty. We hoped to lower this percent to 5%, if not less.

Inspired by the theme and some of the findings of the Global Hunger project, I donated all my savings (although small) to a group of less fortunate children in a rural Indian village to help provide food, educational supplies and better learning resources. During my trip to India in the summer, I educated some of the rural kids about healthy living, and how every child has a right to dream big. The kids, from grades 6-10, were so delighted with this interaction. When I saw the joy in their faces, I knew that I wanted to pursue this further.

I also had the opportunity to do a one-week observership at a research lab this summer and noted several research findings about genetic mutations and environmental factors causing different types of cancers in children. These children do not deserve to be in such a miserable state at such a young age. The help required by some of the deprived children, who may not be able to afford timely treatment, drew my immediate attention.

These incidents prompted me to think of how I can make a difference in the lives of such disadvantaged children. I came up with the idea of doing a service project to create awareness among local communities and educate them about the challenges faced by underprivileged children across the globe in terms of hunger, environmental factors, terminal illnesses, and lack of learning resources.