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Good nutrition is the cornerstone of human development and the key ingredient that every one of us needs to survive and thrive. Despite having increased and unique micronutrient requirements, adolescent girls are often disproportionately impacted by malnutrition due to a variety of biological, social and cultural factors.

Yet good nutrition during this critical period of life can make a world of difference for girls’ future. When adolescent girls are well-nourished, they are more likely to stay in school, which increases their future productive potential and allows them to break free of negative gendered stereotypes.

Our adolescent nutrition programs and interventions seek to educate, empower, and deliver the micronutrients that adolescents need to be healthy and reach their full potential. As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child, hear from girls around the world –  in their own words – as they share how they are taking charge of their own nutrition and encouraging others in their community to do the same.

Read the blog: Girl guide in Tanzania spreads nutrition awareness

21-year-old Tanzanian girl guide, Valentine is passionate about ending iron deficiency anaemia among young girls and women. Harnessing her digital media skills, she organized a walk to bring awareness about the importance of good nutrition to her community and local Minister of Parliament. She wrote this blog to share her experience as an advocacy champion.

Read the blog: Girls’ club member in Ethiopia motivates her peers

After experiencing how iron and folic acid supplementation drastically improved her health, Seble, a grade 6 girls’ club member and nutrition advocate in Ethiopia, became a role model for her fellow students by spreading the nutrition knowledge she learned among both the girls and boys in her community. “My dream is to succeed in my education, join university and become a doctor,” she says. “I want to be known as Dr. Seble, a female obstetrician from Machkle Woreda.”

Read the blog: Student shares her experience learning about anaemia prevention at school

Almost 30% of adolescents worldwide suffer from anaemia, approximately half due to iron deficiency, which can impact physical wellbeing in addition to school performance. During a digital content creation workshop facilitated by Nutrition International, Sifaul, a grade 11 student from Lumajang, Indonesia, wrote about her experience learning about the importance of good nutrition and taking iron and folic acid to prevent anaemia.

Read the blog: From participant to advocate: A young women shares her story to prevent anaemia

When Shubhangi Kori from Madhya Pradesh, India began taking iron and folic acid supplements she soon reported feeling less lethargic and having increased concentration and performance in school. Shubhangi has since become the first person in her family to attend college and detailed her experience with Nutrition International’s weekly iron and folic acid supplementation program to prevent anaemia – and how it led her to speak to 2,000 youth about nutrition.