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Nigerian Ojoma Akor places third at 2021 malnutrition reporting award

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NIGERIAN Ojoma Akor, Kenyan Leon Lidigu and Indian Srishti Jaswal have been announced winners in the 2021 top prizes for reporting on malnutrition.

Ojoma Akor of Daily Trust Newspaper came in third for her story about a rural community’s efforts to stave off hunger in orphans.

She was awarded third place for her story, which used graphics, photos and videos to tell how a community in northern Nigeria helped more than 30 families caring for orphans and vulnerable children stave off hunger.

She reported how the Dukpa community donated land for communal farming of crops to serve vulnerable children, including those who had lost parents to violence in the conflict-plagued region.

Leon Lidigu, a Kenyan journalist who revealed the struggles of a vulnerable community faced with malnutrition in school children, was selected as the first-place winner of the 2021 Global Nutrition and Food Security Reporting Contest.

Lidigu’s story, “The Cost of Malnutrition”, focused on children in the Kibera slum of Nairobi who often depend on school for their only meal of the day, and the lifelong challenges that result when young children are malnourished or undernourished. The multimedia feature ran in the popular Nation newspaper.

Journalist and expert on global nutrition who served on the panel of judges, Roger Thurow, said Lidigu’s story is an excellent piece of explanatory and solutions-oriented journalism. The narrative and graphics combine to form a compelling exploration of the cost of malnutrition for individuals, families, communities, and a country, and summons an urgency to prioritize improving nutrition for all.”

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Srishti Jaswal of hindustantimes took second place for her exposé of a national food distribution system that left out millions of needy families.

Jaswal’s second-place entry was a disturbing examination of India’s food distribution system and the millions of needy families who were left out because the system was based on a 10-year-old census that didn’t count them.

Jaswal follows the distressing journey of families grappling with malnutrition during the pandemic, and the bitter irony that the pandemic delayed a new census that could include them and pave the way to life-saving provisions. Jaswal’s story was published by Al Jazeera.

The award was given by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in partnership with the Eleanor Crook Foundation, a U.S.-based philanthropy solely dedicated to the fight against malnutrition.

It recognises powerful and forward-looking storytelling on the impacts of malnutrition on childhood development and on proven interventions, such as breastfeeding and life-saving food supplements.

The story contest carries a $2,500 cash prize for first place, $1,500 for second place and $500 for third place.

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