You and your wife Leslie travelled to Bangladesh with Save the Children. Why did you both want to make this trip, and why Save the Children?
Living in North America, and having the opportunity to see so much of the world, I have come to appreciate how truly fortunate my life is. As a husband and father it has always hit hard when I see the deep poverty so many people experience. It’s important that my children see Leslie and I doing things that help others so that they’ll be inspired to help others too.
I’ve shared previous experiences with Leslie, and have shown her many pictures from my travels, but it’s not the same as looking into the eyes of people you are trying to help. The mission becomes personal and deeply meaningful when you know the families and communities you’re helping.
Leslie has so much to give and I was excited to see what she was going to share with me, and everyone we meet, after this journey. Our soft spot is for kids because they are often innocent casualties simply because of where they were born. Save The Children puts kids first and they run nutrition programming around the world. Nutritious, good food for all is what I care about too.
On a lighter note, what would you like to learn about Bangladeshi cuisine? How do you think it will impact your take on the multicultural kitchen?
I would like to explore the flavours of as many regions of Bangladesh as possible on this trip. Cooking is an act of giving, and feeding one another is the ultimate type of caretaking, in my opinion. When you feed the body, you feed the soul.
There is no way I will ever learn all there is to know about food in one lifetime. Culture is expressed in the kitchen as much as in the arts, architecture, fashion, and language of a culture. The multicultural kitchen inspires me. I’m just there taking it all in and spitting it back out with my own voice. Food is love.
In late September, Roger travelled to rural Bangladesh to visit nutrition-related programming run by Save the Children and our community partners. Roger, well-known blogger @phdinparenting (a.k.a Annie) and our youth board member and blogger Orysia Andryo accompanied Save the Children President and CEO Patricia Erb.
Roger and the team spent several days meeting the mothers and children who rely on the health and nutrition services of the MaMoni Project. Save the Children, along with our community partners, have been saving the lives of mothers and children in Bangladesh for more than three decades.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Bangladesh has succeeded in reducing preventable maternal and child death. However, chronic hunger continues to be a persistent problem. Malnutrition is the underlying cause in one third of global child mortality, and has lifelong consequences for children who survive. Malnourished children are more likely to become ill and perform poorly in school. Women who are malnourished are more likely to give birth to small or underweight babies—repeating this dangerous cycle.
How can you get involved?
Food is a Right. Nutritious food is a necessity for children. If world governments can save the global financial industry with investments of $600 billion, why can’t we find $10 billion to save the lives of two million children?