about the author
Youth Outreach Coordinator
HI – My name is Graham Bell. I have been an educator for the last 13 years, teaching at both primary and secondary levels in the UK and in international schools.
We are calling on you to take action in the days running up to World Food Day. Each day counting down to October 16, we will issue a daily challenge as part of our A Billion for a Billion campaign and the ONE Campus Challenge.
Yesterday, we wrote about school meals and how they can transform lives…lives of kids such as Jonas, from Tanzania, whose story is below. Today’s action is for Jonas and the 66 million children around the world who go to school hungry.
Action: add a banner to your blog, website, or social network profile and raise awareness about Jonas, his dreams and the importance of school meals
Go to http://www.wfp.org/how-to-help/community/link-us#jonas for a range of great banners and badges.
Jonas Oltimbau, 15, hails from Masai country in northern Tanzania, where this year the rains failed and maize fields shriveled under the equatorial sun. Food became scarce, and many of the region’s schoolchildren went without — even at home.
“If you came here in those times, you would find the children fast asleep because they were so hungry and tired,” said George Lowassa, district school feeding coordinator. “Many of them have to walk up to 12 kilometers just to get here — on an empty stomach! Can you imagine?”
An empty belly makes it tough to concentrate on lessons. Malnutrition early in life can also affect a child’s mental development, weakening his or her capacity to break out of poverty later on.
Research shows that hunger is inherited. School meals help break the grip of that destructive inheritance, and give hope for the future.
In the words of Jonas, who dreams of becoming a lawyer: “I want to practice the laws of this country, and maintain peace and stability in Tanzania.”
The World Food Day Action Countdown is the result of a joined initiative between the Billion for a Billioncampaign (calling for the online billion ot help the hungry billion) and the ONE Campus Challenge (that invites university students to take part in the fight against hunger for credits).