VIENTIANE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and WFP Youth Representative Jessica Watson, together with Australian non-profit organisations SchoolAid and Global Development Group (GDG), are joining forces to engage Australian students in the fight against child hunger. All funds will support WFP’s school meals programme in Laos through a Global Development Group project. The joint effort was announced today, 3 July 2012, at a press conference in Brisbane, Australia.
“One of our greatest responsibilities is to invest in the next generation,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin at the press conference. “We’re proud to work with Jessica, SchoolAid and GDG for the KIDS FIGHTING HUNGER campaign to educate Australia’s students on global child hunger and invest in the futures of hungry children around the world.”
The KIDS FIGHTING HUNGER campaign, which will reach 7,000 schools throughout Australia, will teach Australian primary school children about child hunger around the world, about WFP’s school meals programme and about the challenges schoolchildren face in Laos.
“The campaign will not only help raise much-needed funding for schoolchildren here in Laos, it is also a unique opportunity for students in Australia to take action against child hunger”, said Mio Nozoe, Head of the WFP-assisted School Meals Programme in Laos. “Through this initiative, they will learn that if everyone contributes a small part we can solve hunger today.”
Each year, WFP’s school meals programme provides daily nutritious meals to over 22 million school children in 60 countries. In Laos, more than 150,000 pre-primary and primary school children in remote villages in Phongsaly, Luangnamtha, Oudomxay, Saravane, Sekong and Attapeu receive a nutritious mid-morning snack every day that eases hunger and helps them concentrate on their lessons. These meals encourage poor children, particularly girls, to come to school and give students hope for a brighter future.
“When I visited Laos with WFP last year, I witnessed the amazing impact that WFP school meals have on the lives of school children, their families and communities,” said Jessica Watson. “It is an honour to be working with WFP, SchoolAid and GDG on this great initiative to teach Aussie school kids the value of education and nutrition and to empower them to help fellow school children in developing countries.”
SchoolAid will provide school teachers with information about child malnutrition and hunger. Students will also be encouraged to raise awareness and funds for WFP in their communities and to donate grains of rice to WFP through the fun and educational game Freerice.com.
The KIDS FIGHTING HUNGER campaign will run from July to September. In October, Jessica Watson will visit the eight schools around the country that have raised the most funds for WFP.
For further information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Cornelia Paetz, WFP/Vientiane, Tel. +856-21 330 300 ext. 2340, Mob. +856-20 7739 9363
Bounmee Maokhamphiou, WFP/Vientiane, Tel. +856-21 330 300 ext. 3412, Mob. +856-20 5861 5639