Timothy cares because “we can fix it.” Atule cares because “everyone needs to eat to get strong so their stomach will feel nice.” J.C. cares because “hunger hurts everyone.” More than a simple question, WhyCare? is becoming a student-led movement raising voices around the globe to help solve hunger.
The WhyCare? campaign has grown from a student project into an international initiative. It is led by Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH), a network of university students that work in partnership with WFP to inspire the next generation to get involved in solving hunger. Students started linking up from campuses across the globe to engage in a broader discussion about hunger. Soon they were asking themselves, “Why should we care about hunger?" With a little creativity, a lot of determination, hundreds of meetings and a website later the movement was born.
WhyCare? is a simple idea. It asks people to take a picture holding a sign that says why they care about hunger. These pictures are then uploaded on the WhyCare Facebook page and Twitter feed, where thousands can participate in the discussion of hunger. From the basketball player Charles Barkley to 11 -year-old Joshua Williams, people are responding. Scroll through the photo gallery to see what motivates people to do their part to solve hunger. It doesn’t matter if the response is pragmatic, like Emily’s ‘because everyone deserves dinner’ or deeply moving, like Gavin’s, ‘because no one should have to choose between his or her children.’ Answering the question is a small act that unites people around the world to start a discussion around hunger. With each new photo added, UFWH hopes to build a community inspired to make solving hunger a global priority. UFWH aims to collect 10,000 photos – and voices against hunger -- by World Food Day this October 16.
The number of uploaded photos is rising fast but they still need some help! Grab a marker and paper and ask your friends and family to join in too. We asked our colleagues at the Washington D.C. office of WFP to add their voices. From interns to senior staff, everyone took a moment to think about what has motivated their work fighting hunger. Keep an eye out for a few of the responses on our WFP Students Facebook page.
Begin by reading why three students from around the world joined the campaign to share why they care about hunger. Meet Simeon from Kenya, Gavin from Canada, and Jenna from the United States.
Why Simeon from Kenya Cares About Hunger:
Hunger is a reality in Kenya; a reality I was protected from by my parents.Growing up in rural Kenya was a struggle. My parents took us out of the City, to avoid the gang influences that we were subjected to in Nairobi, at a time when there was little to look forward to in the rural areas. Nevertheless, I had parents who had taken the responsibility to protect me from hunger so that every day I never went to bed hungry – no matter how hard the situation.
My parents were not harder working than my friends’ parents, nor were they financially well off. I just happened to have been favored by the currents of life and for that I had taken for granted a good part of my childhood. Read more from Simeon’s post.
Written by Simeon, a student in Kenya.
Why Gavin from Canada Cares About Hunger:
I am standing in what many describe as the largest refugee camp in the world, in eastern Kenya. It is filled with Somalis who have fled the horrifying famine now spreading across their homeland. My first time experiencing the impact of true famine first hand was on July 20th, 2011. This is the day that the United Nations declared Famine in the Horn of Africa. I was on a volunteer mission at the world’s largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, and the horrors I witnessed have impacted me ever since. Why Care? Because no one deserves to suffer like that. Read more from Gavin’s post.
Written by Gavin Armstrong, University of Guelph
Why Jenna from the United States Cares About Hunger:
As a Nutrition major, I spend the majority of my day learning about food. In my classes I’m learning about the nutrients in food and how they benefit our bodies. I’m learning about “how to design a colorful plate” and how to present appetizing menus. I’m learning the “art” of cooking and how the body breaks down vitamins and minerals. I’m learning to appreciate the food I put inside my body, because it’s my fuel for life.In my life, I can afford to be picky. I have an abundance of food and plenty of healthful choices. I throw away leftovers without a second thought. I trash a loaf of bread that isn’t just bakery fresh. But isn’t it humbling to hear that 16.7 million children right here in OUR OWN COUNTRY would be overjoyed to have a loaf of my nasty hard bread for their breakfast? And that’s just the children here in the U.S. An estimated 925 million people in this world are hungry. Can you imagine? Read more from Jenna’s post.
Written by Jenna Le Heard, Student at Auburn University
You can find more information about the WhyCare? Campaign and join the movement here.