LILONGWE – A Dutch postman is due to arrive in Malawi on Wednesday 18 April after cycling 13, 000 kilometers (8,000 miles) from the Netherlands to raise funds for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide more than 90,000 meals for Malawian schoolchildren.
By the time Hans Jansen reaches Chikhwawa on the journey he began eight months ago, he will have passed through a dozen countries: Belgium, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania.
“It was easy for me to link my new adventure to WFP since my employer, Post NL, has been supporting WFP’s School Meals Programme in Malawi since 2004,” says Hans. “This gave me the idea of raising money by making the trip for the school children in Malawi. Every cent I raise will be donated to WFP so they can spend it on school meals”.
The WFP-supported school meals programme reaches more than 700,000 primary school children in Malawi. Every day, pupils in participating schools receive a mid-morning hot serving of corn soya blend (Likuni Phala) porridge. In addition, girls and orphan boys in Standards 5 to 8 receive a monthly take-home ration of maize grain during the lean months of January to April, provided they attend 80 percent of school days.
“The meals funded by Hans will help improve the children’s ability to concentrate and learn in the classroom”, says WFP Country Director and Representative, Abdoulaye Diop. “This in turn will help reduce drop-out rates, boost regular attendance and increase enrolment”.
Hans is due to arrive at Konzere Primary School in Chikhwawa on Thursday 19 April at 10.00 a.m. and the schoolchildren will be there to celebrate his arrival. Hans will then present WFP with a cheque for the money he has raised.