A new advertising campaign for WFP's School Feeding Programme featuring Nimdoma Sherpa, a former WFP school meals recipient who climbed the world's highest peak, Mt. Everest, at the age of 17, officially kicked-off in Japan this month.
TOKYO - "I am very happy to be part of this year's WFP School Feeding advertisement campaign. It is a completely new experience for me," said Nimdoma as she addressed a packed hall of more than 150 people, including Japanese media and corporate partners.
Personally present at the campaign's Tokyo launch last 2 July, Nimdoma highlighted the impact WFP school meals has made on her life. "I hope my story will inspire young children to focus on studies and dream big. I'm thankful to WFP Japan and the Advertising Council Japan for choosing me as a role model for this campaign," she shared.
The ad campaign will run for one year until June 2014, on tri-media, including billboards, all courtesy of the AC Japan -- a consortium of ad agencies and private sector companies which run various Public Service Announcements (PSA) for public good.
Born at the foothills of the Himalayas, Nimdoma received school meals at the age of four while going to a school in her village. She initially just went to school so that she could eat, but then she eventually became genuinely interested in learning.
"The meals were the best food I had during my childhood days," she said. "I feel deeply connected with WFP because for me it (school meals) opened the door of educational opportunities and helped me to pursue my dream of climbing Everest."
During a week-long stay in the country, Nimdoma gave interviews to dozens of media outfits and participated in talk shows with WFP's corporate partners where she strongly articulated the message to join hands in the fight against hunger and poverty and advocated for the support of WFP’s School Feeding Programme.
“Nimdoma is a shining example of what the WFP-supported school feeding programmes can achieve by helping give needy children an education and a fighting chance of breaking the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty," said Stephen Anderson, Director of WFP Japan Relations Office.
"We firmly believe that there are many "Nimdomas" throughout the world, whose hidden potential can be similarly fulfilled," elaborated Anderson . "We hope that through this advertisement campaign, the people of Japan will further appreciate the positive and dramatic impact that school feeding can have on children’s lives worldwide, and be part of the solution in our fight against hunger.”
School feeding is one of the core activities of WFP, giving poor children the chance to learn and enhance their performance by allowing them to concentrate on their lessons. WFP is the world's largest provider of school meals in developing countries.
Nimdoma became the youngest member of the “First Inclusive Women’s Sagarmatha Expedition” – the WFP-supported team, that made mountaineering history after all the 10 female Nepali members reached the highest point on earth in May 2008.
She is now a member of Seven Summits Women Team with a mission to reach the highest peaks on all the seven continents. The team has successfully climbed Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia, Mt. Elbrus in Europe and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.
The team is hoping to climb the remaining three highest peaks in South America, North America and Antarctica by the end of 2015. In each of her climbs, whenever given the chance, Nimdoma always highlights the importance of education for girls, and the value of school meals which WFP helps provide, as crucial for fueling young girls' dreams.