Family Magazine

Should Starving Children Adverts Be Banned?

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

“Mummy why do those babies look like that?” my 5 year old daughter asked me pointing the TV.

“There are starving children in some parts of the word” I explained to her.

She looked sad and almost confused, we talked about how lucky she was and how not all little boys and girls had that same luck.

The images were rather horrific for a 5 year old, we were not watching a horror film or anything not age appropriate  as it was only tea time, we were watching an advert raising awareness of starving children in Africa.

I always remember my mother getting annoyed when I didn’t eat my tea and would always say to me  ” What a waste, what about all those starving children in Africa”. She always made me feel guilty.

I already have an eating disorder of some form where I starve myself and being made to feel guilty about actually eating is another issue I find myself thinking about, especially when there are estimated to be 1.6 million people with eating disorders in the UK, and a 16% rise in admissions in the last year.

Matt was eating his tea but soon felt guilty about eating and left most of it, the advert had put him off any appetite he had.

“Well I don’t wanna watch this when I am bloody eating” was his response.

Is that why they aim to air these types of adverts when they know many families will be sat down ready to eat?

To make them feel guilty so that they donate money?

How much does it cost to have an advert on TV?

images Should Starving Children Adverts Be Banned?

Would positive images not have a greater impact?

Images of starving Africans is putting off people giving money to continent: ‘Band Aid image’ counter-productive, warns Oxfam.

  • British public is desensitised to images of hunger, drought and disease
  • Only one in five believe they can play an active role in ending hunger
  • Advertising portrayals branded ‘depressing, manipulative and hopeless’

More than 18 million people across West Africa are in the grip of a growing hunger crisis. Crop shortages, rising food prices and insecurity have left more than 1 million children facing starvation. (Save The Children)

Save The Children offers you the chance to sponsor a child and I think if I knew every penny I was donating went to that specific child, then yes I would like to sponsor a child in Africa.

$30 would send an orphan to school which would mean their future improves, such a small amount of money to help a vulnerable child with something that we all take for granted here in the UK as we have free education for our children. The sad thing is I have the money that I could donate but I won’t because will I really be helping a child get an education, where does that money really go?

If I hit that buy button that states I will be paying to send an orphan to school, how will I know that is true?

It isn’t true -

“While your donation does not purchase an actual product or service, it will support the life-changing programs. For example, when you make the gift of a goat, your donation will help fund our Livelihoods programs, while the gift of a mosquito net will support our wide-ranging health initiatives.”

I actually liked the original idea …now I feel a little duped.

While we need to support charities and raise awareness could they not use positive results to inspire people to keep donating. Show us what our money buys and how we change lives. Stop showing starving children and instead show us them looking healthy and happy after receiving aid.

Others Views On the Starving Children Adverts

I’m quite harsh on this; I think if they want aid then that aid should be sent in the form of contraception.  All these babies being born to starve to death is horrific and yes I also think the adverts should be banned.  I may seem heartless but I don’t want my children seeing images like that. – Says Lianne

To be honest not banned but more truthful, showing adults too and instead of donating money maybe we should donate food and condoms, then they can eat and stop producing children that end up starving. I actually heard that the people who make these adverts make things seem worse than they really are.  I know things in some other countries are bad but apparently some of its put on to make people donate.  – Says Loretta

I can tell you now if I lived like them I would try my best not to pop a child out. It bugs me as to why they keep having them when they get sent condoms out because the high rates of H.I.V.  – Says Sharna

Yes they should ban starving children adverts, they show them during the day in between kid’s programmes, I don’t want my children seeing a) kids nearly dying and b) what a horrible world we live in.  I’m all for raising awareness, but I’m sure there are other ways of showing it. – Says Louise

Some women have no choice but to have a baby.  Aids was originally spread by soldiers raping women. Women aren’t always seen as being equal in other countries. I have read about gangs of men raping virgins because they think it will cure aids (including children in that) so they’re not going to use contraception to rape them.  It breaks my heart seeing it but I think children should know how lucky they are. We had the Bethany Project come into the school I work in and the children learnt so much about how lucky they are. – Says Bethany

Rebecca has learnt a lot from Children In Need and Red Nose Day, and she always asks about what she has compared to other countries so she knows how lucky she is.  I still disagree that dying children to be shown on TV when children are around in the day to watch it. She knows the differences without the graphics of the cruelty. – Says Louise

What gets to me is we raise millions every year and yet they are in the same boat,  it would be cheaper to give them something to stop them having kids surely by having a child in a starving family is child abuse? – Says Saphire 

The governments take the money donated, same as everywhere the rich get richer. As well as people being raped there are a lot who are taught they shouldn’t use contraception. If the pope would say they should it would help a lot but he doesn’t.  Missionaries go out there to help but along with their help they preach. If the only thing you have is faith you aren’t going to want to lose that. - Says Shannon

I think they should show the ads. My boy is 7 and always says how awful it is. I believe its good that our kids realize how lucky they are and that extreme poverty does happen all over world. Its not the fault of these desperate people for their situation they were just unlucky enough to be born in the wrong place with dictators running their countries – Says Lisa

Since 1985, red nose day has raised £750 million, where has it gone? Why hasn’t things changed? ….because it goes on the governments over there, not the people - Says Louise

My 6 year old daughter kept getting upset by the water aid charity advert and due to her I now donate £10 a month and she’s happy that we are helping children get clean water.  The reason why people in poor third world countries have lots of children is because mortality rates are high and many children die before their second birthday. Why should we send them contraception ? They do not love their children any less than us, we are lucky to be born in such an affluent country where we have unlimited access to clean water, food & education.  It’s not the people’s fault they were born in these third world countries,  many of which are ravaged by war and famine . If you asked any of them,  they don’t want ” charity ” just a bit of help in times of great crisis. As for Comic Relief 100% of all donations go to many different charities in this country & abroad . There is always going be starving children in the world, just be grateful it’s not yours – Says Amanda

(*These are the actual replies from mothers when asked should starving children adverts be banned *)

Should starving children adverts be banned? Tell me what your own views are …


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