Redefining hunger in the Sahel region of Africa

May 1, 2012
Joannes Paulus Yimbesalu is a member of the UNICEF Campus Initiative Alumni Association. Coming from Cameroon, one of the countries in the Sahel region of Africa, I was fortunate, in spite of the meager income of my parents, to attend primary, secondary and high school in the region. Attending school gave me access to one full meal each day and basic health care. Having basic nutrients and health care played a vital role in my attendance and allowed me to focus on my studies. However, millions of children in my country and across the world will never have such an opportunity, not because they chose these circumstances, but because they were born into a situation of extreme poverty.

Children in Cameroon with Joannes Yimbesalu.

Extreme hunger is a horrific feeling. Millions are facing this predicament due to the current food crisis and severe droughts in the Sahel. The Sahel region is one of the poorest regions of the world, and includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria and Senegal. Children in this region are innocent and shouldn’t be made victims of unforeseen circumstances that we can prevent. As a founding officer and the first president of the UNICEF Campus Initiative club at New Mexico Highlands University, I’ve had the opportunity to support UNICEF’s work through a variety of campaigns. And as a current member of the UNICEF Campus Initiative Alumni Association, I am equally excited to continue my support through the Live Below the Line campaign. I invite you to join me on this campaign to live on a $1.50/day for food from May 7-11,  and raise funds for UNICEF’s work in the Sahel to ensure that children have the opportunity to survive and develop. For additional information, please visit: All funds raised for UNICEF will go directly to the region—saving countless lives from this catastrophe and making the world a better place for generations to come. Believe in Zero.