Hi, my name is Naquita and I’m a member of the South Wales RESULTS group. I’ve only just joined the group and I was really fortunate to join in time for me to attend the Big IF event in Hyde Park on Saturday 8th June, which was also my first activity with RESULTS UK.
The day for myself and Rob, the Group Leader in Cardiff, started really early with us getting a train up to London at 7:25am! Once we got to London we got the chance to visit the RESULTS UK office and I met the staff who have been working hard over the last few months to prepare for the day, as well as RESULTS UK volunteers from all over the country who had also travelled down to take part in the Big IF event.
At the office we were given more information about the day and also informed about the latest findings from the Lancet, showing that undernutrition is responsible for almost half of all child deaths, which means the figure is now estimated at 3.1 million, higher than previously thought. It was really sad to learn that the fight against the leading killer of children only receives 0.4% of the world’s overseas development assistance.
We also got to see the amazing results of a permaculture project in Africa, which had turned a dusty schoolyard into a green jungle in less than 1 and a half years. By using permaculture techniques, such as planting plants that work in harmony with each other (i.e. The 3 sisters: corn, beans and pumpkin), the school was able to provide enough food for the pupils that it didn’t matter if some went missing whilst the children had fun playing in their surroundings!
After the presentations and making our Big IF flowers for the visual protest we headed off to the event waving our flowers and with the t-shirts the RESULTS UK group had made especially for the day (these t-shirts using the Keep Calm slogan were a big hit by the way, we had lots of people asking after them! You can see us wearing them on Facebook).
The visual protest was a giant cooking pot made out of handmade flowers. This cooking pot had been put together other the previous few days by hardworking Big IF volunteers and on the day people from far and wide were encouraged to ‘fill-up the pot’ by planting more handmade flowers. This was filmed and you could see the pot filling up throughout the day. There were thousands of flowers and each petal on each flower represented the children dying each year from starvation.
At the main event ground there were stands from a large number of charities all trying to help fight global poverty. Each stall, including the RESULTS UK stall, provided interactive activities and information about the actions they had been taking and their aims. It was very interesting to learn more about the variety of activities taking place around the world. There was an excited atmosphere and the park was buzzing in the sunshine we were so lucky to have, with dancing corn and face painting it was hard not to have a good time!
The main event was obviously the impressive range of speakers who had come to show their support for the Big IF event, including Bill Gates, David Beckham, Myleene Klass, Eddie Izzard, Danny Boyle and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as well as music from a variety of artists. Hopefully we made enough noise for the decision makers to hear us and see the overwhelming support there is to solve the global hunger crisis.
Joining RESULTS UK for the Big IF event was such a great introduction. Not only did I get to travel up to London and meet many of the Results UK staff and volunteers, but I also got to be part of history by being one of the thousands of people in Hyde Park on Saturday who were all committed to making a world a better place.