Generosity knows no borders. Studying the link between hunger and immigration in an English class and shocked at the widespread hunger in most developing countries, a group of students in the Parisian suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois decided to help WFP feed the world’s hungry.
They created and sold wall calendars, raising enough funds to feed over 2 600 school children around the world!
PARIS- Selecting photos, colours and fonts for a wall calendar could seem out of place in an English class. However, students in class 1 BL3D at the Alfred Nobel High School in Clichy-sous-Bois spent long hours doing just that in order to create beautiful wall calendars for sale and help WFP feed the world’s hungry. Thanks to their enthusiasm and steely determination, over 2,600 hungry school children around the world will receive WFP’s hot and nutritious school meals.
A world beyond Paris
The project was the brainchild of Mr.Mohamed Kaddour, English professor at the school and an alumnus of the same institution. “The project offered an opportunity to help the students understand that though their life is sometimes difficult, they are luckier than many school children in Africa, Haiti and elsewhere, who go to bed hungry every night. Being aware and involved in a cause as important as the fight against hunger helps students put things in perspective and realise that the world does not stop at the outskirts of Paris.”
Under his guidance, this group of 20-odd enthusiastic electronics students tried their hand at arts and craft, creating and selling over three hundred calendars. Being true entrepreneurs, they kept the prices flexible- starting at 3 euros for other students and going up to 10-15 euros for teachers and family members. One student sold a calendar to his grandmother for 15 euros! After deducting printing costs, the students managed to raise over 500 euros for WFP, a sum sufficient to feed over 2,600 children.
“2,600 kids? Wow!”
Achieving these results however, came with its own set of challenges. The months of December and January, the hot season for calendar sales, saw the students working 12-hour days at their internships thus having to spend weekends selling calendars, out in the cold, Parisian streets.
“At the beginning, we had no idea about the number of calendars we would sell or the funds we would raise. But today, seeing the concrete results of our actions, we are completely speechless…over 2,600 kids…Wow!” exclaims one of the students.
“This project is particularly significant given that these students come from Clichy-sous-Bois, home to the riots in 2005 and reputed to be amongst the more volatile Parisian suburbs. Their dedication and efforts go a long way in showing that with the right tools and awareness campaigns, we can help students overcome socio-economic challenges and participate wholly in the creation of a better, hunger-free world,” adds Mr.Kaddour.
Meanwhile, Marina Catena, WFP Director in France, congratulated the students on their achievement. “The students of the Alfred Nobel High School and their efforts are an inspiration to us all. They have brought tremendous energy to the fight against hunger and we are deeply grateful to each of them for their commitment.”
Written by Rucha Naware, French Web Editor, WFP France