A Filipino boy in Manila takes part in the 2009 Walk.
In 70 countries around the world, people walked together on Sunday in a show of solidarity for the hungry poor. ‘End Hunger: Walk the World’ aims to raise funds and awareness for WFP’s school feeding programmes.
ROME -- Now in its seventh year, the Walk the World event was sponsored by three of WFP’s global private sector partners: express delivery company TNT, consumer goods company Unilever, and nutrition and life-science specialists DSM.
The first walk took place in Kenya on Saturday 6 June, one day ahead of schedule. The walk took place in the shady green park of the Nairobi Arboretum, where about 350 WFP staff, partners and supporters gathered. The star walker was no doubt Paul Tergat, a champion marathon runner and former WFP school feeding beneficiary, who is now a WFP Ambassador Against Hunger.
"I was able to stay in school"
"When I was in primary school, I benefited from WFP’s school feeding programme which enabled me to stay in school,” Paul explains. “Education has opened great opportunities for me and I am happy to give back to society. This walk provided me with an opportunity to join other Kenyans, WFP and her partners in raising awareness and money for school feeding".
Kicking off the events on Sunday 7 June was a group of climbers up Sydney Harbour Bridge, with WFP’s Head of Private Partnerships in Asia, Cynthia Jones, braving the 134-metre climb together with rugby legends Mark and Glen Ella and a group of TNT employees.
"Commitment to help end hunger"
In the Philippines, at least 6,000 people took to the streets of Manila for a colourful walk with much live entertainment, including a children’s choir, modern and traditional dancers, TV personalities and sports stars. Country Director Stephen Anderson (right) described the event as “an illustration of Filipinos expressing their commitment to help end child hunger during our lifetime,” adding that “a solution cannot be achieved through words and advocacy alone; actions also need to take the forefront.”
In Japan, 3,000 people walked through Yokohama city, while in India two walks took place Gurgaon, a large business park near Delhi, and in Bangalore. One of the largest walks so far took place in Jakarta, Indonesia, where 12,000 people showed up to stand together against child hunger. The walk was followed by a concert featuring major local artists, including WFP’s own National Ambassador Against Hunger Luna Maya.