As we join the rest of the world to overcome hunger and malnutrition, the UBC organized its campaign of the “Third Walk to Feed the Hungry” on Sunday, August 18, 2019.
The walk was led by Bhante Buddharakkhita and over 500 people including UBC members, people from the village, children from 3 local schools, and distinguished guests participated in this campaign.
Hunger and malnutrition are a very big global challenge. In the villages surrounding the UBC, many children including orphans cannot afford a square meal. Some children in schools cannot afford lunch and yet they have to study the whole day. The causes of hunger include endemic poverty, wastage of food and lack of knowledge of the potential foods available in Uganda. Poor people cannot afford food rich in health-sustaining nutrients. According to the Buddha, “Hunger is the worst diseases, conditioned things the worst suffering. Knowing this as it really is, the wise realize Nibbana, the highest bliss.” (Dhammapada 203). Certainly, if one is hungry, one cannot listen to the Dhamma thus hindering one’s spiritual growth and development.
To overcome this challenge, Uganda Buddhist Centre started a program called, ‘Hunger Relief Program’, which offers nutritious food to over 50 children monthly from Bulega village.
Purpose of Walk to Feed the Hungry
The “Walk to Feed the Hungry” campaign is intended to create awareness about global hunger and resources to develop sustainable food security system. The gift of food is the gift of life.”
The walk campaign was started by the Buddhist Global Relief (BGR) chaired by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi in New York, USA. Ven. Buddharakkhita is a Spiritual Advisor at BGR and he has led a couple of walks since their inception. Ven. Buddharakkhita introduced these kind of solidarity walks in 2015 in Uganda. Since then, the number of participants has been increasing.
This year’s walk featured the feeding of over 500 people by the Sri Lankan community in Uganda. Furthermore, Kamal and his Sri Lankan friends demonstrated the number of foods wasted in Uganda such as potato leaves, banana flowers, cassava leaves and green papaya.
Part of the cultural show included a poem presentation on how hunger affects mental and physical health by Bugabo Primary School. Finally, Venerable Bhante Buddharakihtta gave a brief talk on the significance of the walk before he flagged off the walk.