Coding for my rights - My Nutrition, My Right

Website on healthy food for children

“My Nutrition, My Right” those are the words of three inspiring young Palestinians who recently took part in MENACatalyst’s Palestine Codes: Coding for Children’s Rights program to learn how to use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build their own website. Although only 15 years old, these girls are all too familiar with the poverty affecting their nearby communities. The girls explain that watching other kids around their age and younger growing up without much, without even enough food to eat is not just sad and frustrating but motivating them to make a change. “Kids just don’t have enough to eat, and at school they are spending the little allowance they have on unhealthy things like chips, candies and sodas, because there is nothing healthy for them to get,” the girls explain while pitching their initiative.

Noor Natsheh, Ranya Jadallah and Aziza D’amsah, did not just want to sit by and watch their schoolmates and neighborhood kids continue to suffer while they did nothing. As a result, they took the opportunity to develop an initiative that would fight poverty by dedicating their coding project to the global right of all children to food and nutrition. My Nutrition, My Right, addresses over 38 percent of the Palestinian population that are children under the age of 14, yet live under dire conditions of poverty, hunger, and disenfranchisement.

As part of the My Nutrition, My Right, initiative the students Noor, Ranya and Aziza came up with three components as part of their solution. Initially the students aim to launch their initiative directly at local schools to start a campaign of healthy food lunches at school cafeterias that are nutritious and affordable to all. This part of the initiative was received with overwhelming interest in many local schools and has even been implemented at the Akka Primary Boys’ School in Bethlehem.

The second component is all about raising awareness amongst school children. Via the My Nutrition, My Right website school children and stakeholders alike have the opportunity to learn more about the importance of making healthy food choices, and the different ways they can help fight poverty in their local community. While Noor, Ranya and Aziza are still new to coding, their website aims to bring communities together to initiate change, via interactive games and informational content. But what sets this project apart is providing local communities with the tools to actually reach out and become part of the change.

The third component of the website “A small act of change can make a big difference” allows interested parties to donate to families in need. The team behind this impressive undertaking are reaching out to local restaurants and grocers to join the initiative and offer healthy meals for kids in need.

“The right to quality nutritious food affects all other rights,” says the team. “When kids don’t have healthy food to eat, they won’t be able to focus or do well in school, and it could cause future health problems.” My Nutrition, My Right is an impactful initiative which has the potential to change the lives of countless children throughout Palestine. Not only does Palestine Codes: Coding for Children’s Rights empower young Palestinians with the tools to become the innovators of the future, but using technology and creativity to stand up for their rights and drive social change.

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