Grow Great, a campaign with the aim to galvanise South Africa towards a national commitment to achieving zero stunting by 2030, is calling for submissions for its annual Grow Great Journalist of the Year awards. The competition that is now running for the 2nd year seeks to honour journalists who have written on issues of stunting and malnutrition between October 2019 and October 2020.
The prevalence of stunting (a condition arising from prolonged undernutrition and affecting physical and brain development) remains high in South Africa. One in four (27%) of children under the age of five affected by it. Despite this, there is still not enough awareness of what stunting is and how it threatens the futures of children.
The award serves as a gesture of appreciation to members of the press who work tirelessly to inform and educate South Africans about stunting and the importance of adequate nutrition in the first 1000 days of a child’s life. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen the importance of reporting on malnutrition and stunting. The National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) Coronavirus Rapid Mobile (Cram) survey has found that South Africans, and worse, children, are hungry, hungrier than they have been in years. This persistent hunger is likely to result in a national malnutrition crisis with such far-reaching consequences that it will make the effects of the coronavirus pale in comparison. Many articles have been written on this and stories have been produced and it is this body of work that we would like to see being submitted to the competition.
Print, broadcast and online journalists are invited to submit three samples of their work to Journalismawards@growgreat.co.za.
The winner, who will walk away with a cash prize of R50 000, will be announced in December 2020 at an award ceremony held in Johannesburg. The closing date for all submissions is Friday 30 October 2020.
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