about the author
Youth Outreach Coordinator
Emma is a recent Auburn University graduate in the United States. She is passionate about fighting hunger and in her free time she enjoys cooking, travelling, and jewelry design.
What do soccer, an inspired teacher, and a red cup have to do with each other?
Well, when we are talking about Robin Kleinveldt and the students from the Al Sahwa School in Muscat, Oman, it means a chance to raise more than $6,000 for the World Food Programme.
Robin, a teacher at the Al Sahwa School for the past four and a half years and a South African native, was caught up in the World Cup buzz. While searching the internet for more information he came across a picture of the famous Brazilian soccer star, Kaká, holding a red cup. After following a link that took him to the WFP website he saw a video featuring the star. Mr. Kleinveldt new immediately that this was something his students could get involved with and knew it would be a meaningful way for his students to help reduce hunger and poverty in the world.
After pitching it to his homeroom students they put posters and informational sheets all around the school, and to collect the money they made their own red buckets to pass around. They launched their Fill the Cup campaign at a school assembly. Pictures were displayed and a video of school children receiving meals from WFP in Kenya was shown. The students learned that 925 million people go to bed hungry each night, and that hunger is the no. 1 health risk in our world. But, they also learned that for only $0.25 a meal could be provided to a school child through WFP's school meal program - helping to break the cycle of poverty. The powerful message taught the students of the Al Sahwa School that they could make a difference in the world and encouraged them to donate.
During the month of Ramadan, at another school assembly, Mr. Kleinveldt asked how they would feel if after fasting a whole day there was no food available to break their fast. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world fast from dawn till dusk, breaking the fast with a small meal consisting of dates and soup once the sun sets. This powerful question allowed the students to empathise with the millions of school children that go to bed hungry each night around the world.
Towards the end of the year the headmistress of the primary school at Al Sahwa said that she wanted the primary school students to get involved as well. After a few weeks they had contributed generously and even got their parents involved.
In total the school raised $6,637(USD), which feeds an incredible 26,548 children for one day. Not only have 26,548 mouths been fed, but now, the 900 students from Al Sahwa School are empowered to make a difference.
It doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference - just a simple idea and a bit of creativity is all you need. Bringing hunger awareness and education into your school is something that can inspire a generation and change the world.
What will your impact be?