- June 15, 2017
The decision I made to help the most vulnerable through my work was an easy one and a devotion passed on by my parents. I spent most of my childhood in Bangladesh where my father worked as a development and humanitarian aid worker and my mother as a nurse in the poorest areas of Dhaka. As a child, I was exposed to a world where poverty, inequality, and undernutrition reigned and were lurking on every corner of the street.
My desire to serve underprivileged people led me to my academic studies in international public health in the Netherlands, Belgium and then in the UK. Yet, it is only much later, during my work with World Vision in Malaysia for a global nutrition campaign for children, that I decided to focus on nutrition – one of the best investments a country can make for its future.
“Nutrition is much more than access to a healthy food platter. The lack of nutrition connects with inequity, injustice, and stunting remains one of the leading indicators on measuring poverty. A malnourished child starts with a disadvantage in life that must change; a change I wish to contribute to in my professional career.” – Kesso Gabrielle van Zutphen
Each day, my work with Sight and Life brings me one step closer to turning a missed opportunity in health into a greater potential. As the Knowledge & Research specialist, I stay at the forefront of what is happening in the nutrition community, with an ever-growing interest in understanding what works, what does not, and why. I have a keen interest in the power of integrated approaches, and it is my hope to see us put into action what we know to better address both under and overnutrition. Although I concentrate on systemic and structural changes, it is a decision of the heart that led me to where I am. What fuels my passion for what I do, are the mothers and children who suffer from malnutrition all over the world.