UN World Food Programme

New approaches to humanitarian work

Centre's team during field trip in Niger: Christiani Buani, Vinicius Limongi, and Sharon Freitas.

Photo: WFP

On August 19, the World Humanitarian Day, the Centre takes the opportunity to honor all of its employees, who dedicate their time, their creativity and caring to help build a fairer world without hunger.

In its three years of existence, the Centre of Excellence against Hunger organized 30 study visits for representatives of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, provided technical assistance to a dozen countries and helped organize national seminars on school feeding and other strategies to tackle hunger in five countries. With this ongoing work of disseminating information and promoting exchanges of experience, the Centre was able to support the creation of new school feeding policies in 15 countries. 

These numbers are a consequence of hard work and support of many institutions, but they are primarily the result of the commitment of our staff, our humanitarian heroes. On August 19, the World Humanitarian Day, the Centre takes the opportunity to honor all of its employees, who dedicate their time, their creativity and caring to help build a fairer world without hunger. To represent us, we chose Sharon Freitas. 

Sharon is working at the Centre of Excellence since before its official launching, in 2011. She has been involved in all sorts of tasks in the Centre and had the privilege of accompanying the preparation and execution of all 30 study visits. With that, she had contact with governments and humanitarian workers from three dozen countries and visited Malawi, Niger, Senegal and Cuba.

"Sometimes I wake up in the morning and wonder why I do this work. We face so many difficulties, so many setbacks, that it can be difficult to see what we want to achieve. But then we go to a country and see the government committed to improving the situation, we see the population involved, and this renews our spirits," Sharon says.

According to Sharon, new approaches to humanitarian action, which combine emergency assistance to building lasting and sustainable solutions through the strengthening of governments and populations, are what attract her to this work. "I once heard from a representative of a government during a study visit to Brazil that the information we were passing over about the connection between school feeding and smallholder farmers was inspiring for him. At that moment I felt we had transformed the way he thinks about fighting hunger and poverty. This is what gives meaning to our work."