As the World Cup 2010 builds to a climax, the 1Goal campaign is using soccer fever to draw attention to the over 72 million children denied proper schooling. By providing daily meals to schools around the world, WFP is using nutrition to help meet the goal of universal education.
ROME — The 1Goal campaign has focused the world’s attention on a pressing problem: universal education. During this year’s World Cup, the 1Goal campaign is encouraging soccer players, fans, celebrities, charities, organizations, and individuals to take action by urging world leaders to transform this One Goal into a reality. To date the campaign has over 12 million supporters.
Food and Learning: A winning combination
What is the most effective way to ensure that children receive primary education? The answer lies in free schooling and school meals. Not only do school meals provide adequate nutrition to ensure the correct cognitive and physical development in the crucial developmental years, but they also encourage parents to send their children to school, and enable children to concentrate in class.
In poorer countries, all too often parents are forced to choose between sending their children to school, or to keep them at home to help their family.
The WFP school meals program ensures that children will get a nutritious meal during the school day, which also encourages parents to send their children to school instead of work. In 2009, WFP’s school meals programs encouraged 22 million children in 70 countries to attend and stay in school.
Education is vital to a country’s healthy development and sustainability. When basic necessities such as food are not met, education falls down the list of priorities. In the words of Vladimir Chernigov, Adviser to the Russian Minister of Agriculture on School Feeding: "Children are just 20 percent of our population but are 100 percent of our country's future".
WFP has helped millions of children receive an education through school meals. One Goal calls for governments to pledge action in reaching the goal of primary education.
WFP's is commitmed to education and learning. Teachers and students are especially important to us because the more people learn about hunger, the more likely it is that the problem will be solved.