Morris Marah was a recipient of WFP School Meals in Sierra Leone. 13 years on, he joined the fight against hunger as an intern at the WFP London office.
Working with WFP has always been my long-term goal because I have actually experienced WFP – and its amazing work – first-hand. I am now interning with the Youth Outreach team at the London Liaison Office, getting young people engaged and active with the challenging work of feeding the world's hungry.
My admiration for WFP began in 1998 when Sierra Leone was recovering from a brutal civil war that left the nation on the brink of survival. In my home town of Lungi, near the capital, Freetown my local primary and secondary schools (Silesians of St Augustine Schools) were part of WFP’s school meals programme. I remember the truck squeezing into our play ground, backing up towards our make-shift kitchen and off-loading bags of rice bearing the WFP logo. Every single child in that playground used to feel so happy - knowing that there would be an abundance of food for all of us to eat. When the school bell rang for lunch, the excitement about our new lunch was out of this world! Some of us had lunch money and sometimes our parents would pack us a lunch box - but this was a luxury for a select few. The hot meal that we received from WFP was a Godsend. As a result of school feeding, we had a vibrant atmosphere with young kids full of energy and readiness to learn.
Here I am, 13 years later, in a WFP office with yet another opportunity from WFP – this time to enhance my professional career. The fantastic thing for me, looking back on all of this, is to see that WFP’s school meals programme is continuing at the school. Ms Cassandra Johnson, the Principal was recently interviewed by WFP and said: “When WFP started providing food at Saint Augustine Primary School, the decade-long civil war was still on-going. Before WFP assistance, there were some 600 pupils enrolled in the school. Today the number is almost 900 and more than half of them are girls. With school feeding, children can concentrate on what they are here for – learning.” Read the article here.
I believe that knowing about the importance of tackling hunger - and empowering young people and their communities with that knowledge – is how we can end hunger. Through the organization’s work my respect for our world is growing. One day, I hope to be in a career where I’ll be working to effect the necessary changes for a brighter future. If I ever need to be reminded of an organization that really makes that future more possible, WFP would be top of my List. It’s what WFP does globally to ensure hungry children have the chance to reach their full potential in life.
Written by Morris Marah, WFP London Intern