What is the difference between you and 900 million people?

How many meals do you eat a day, counting the snacks in between? How many times has a relative given you a gift for your birthday? Have you ever considered how lucky you are to be reading this right now? Because there are 101,925,795 young individuals from ages 15-24 years old who are language/numerically illiterate .

Although in theory all children and adolescents have the right to education, protection, and health millions are denied their rights for no reason other than their gender, origin, or race. The percentage of children from ages 6-11 who are not in school has increased since 2011. Around 124 million of children and teenagers do not attend school. In other words, 2 out of 5 young individuals leave elementary school without learning how to read and write, and the basics of arithmetics according to research from 2013. Can you imagine not being able to use any of the modern social media tools because you couldn’t read? Yeah neither can I. The ability to calculate the bill at the end of dinner or read about the latest news in the paper at a coffee shop are the little details that we so often take for granted.

Out of all the people in the world, 900 million live under $1.90 a day. Families living under these conditions struggle to keep their children well fed and healthy. Which is why research from 2014 showed that almost 160 million children were stunted due to lack of health care and proper nutrition. This generally proves that there are 160 million children who are prevented from properly developing while the rest of us are complaining about a blister or a broken nail. Maybe there isn’t much we can do now as students to change these numbers, but we can all start by showing a bit of gratitude and empathy.

Estefania Orihuela

My name is Estefania. I am a senior who loves the color turquoise. I am from Bolivia. My favorite food is barbecue. A word that would describe me would be extroverted.

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