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The New School in Rome's contribution to the Haiti Crisis

Antonio Macera handing a stack of papers to Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdulla Six thousand Euros is enough to provide 30,000 hungry children with a school meal. The New School Rome raised enough money to do exactly that, and today, they donated it to “Students Helping Haiti.”

It was a day of recognition for young people fighting hunger. After five students from The New School presented WFP with a check, 14-year-old John Beck was awarded the grand prize for the Under-18 category of the “hunger bytes!” contest. John’s video, “Dinner is Served,” is a call for action against hunger and challenges people to rethink the concept of a full meal.

The six student guests were in grades five through eight, and they proved age doesn’t matter when it comes to making a difference.

The New School contributed the second-highest donation to “Students Helping Haiti,” behind Auburn University in Alabama, USA, a university with an enrolment of about 24,000 students. John’s viral video has already drawn more than 5,000 views on YouTube.

Nearly two months after the earthquake in Haiti, the public’s attention has drifted from the island’s situation to more current events. The damage may not be fresh, but the emergency is not over. WFP will remain in Haiti to provide emergency relief until the end of 2010, and support and public awareness remains crucial to the operation’s success.

John Beck shaking hands with Ertharin CousinWFP continues to seek young people like John and the students from The New School to spread the word about hunger issues. Hundreds of students around the world have proven their generation’s passion and impacted the lives of strangers.

The Tsukuba International School in Japan sold beans from the school garden to raise money. A money collection at the American School of Yaounde totalled $1,000 for Haiti. Bake sales, dress-theme days, and spare change have raised thousands more dollars at several other schools, bringing the total funds from “Students Helping Haiti” to $43,000.

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Photos: (top) Antonio Macera, a sixth grader from The New School Rome, presents Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdulla with a €6,000 donation for "Students Helping Haiti." (bottom) Fourteen-year-old John Beck shakes hands with Ertharin Cousin, United Nations ambassador to Rome-based agencies, after he receives his hunger bytes! prize. 

Photos: Giulio d'Adamo/WFP