As teachers, when your students explore a new concept in the classroom you want them to think critically about it and not just memorize facts. For Tim Coleman, a service learning teacher at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School in Washington D.C., that meant coming up with a creative project that would challenge his middle school students to really engage with the issue of hunger and consider its global impact.
It was dawn in Tanzania, and a group of ten determined women – 7 from Nepal, 3 from Africa – took a deep breath as they reached the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. They were the first all-women team to scale it. What was the first thing they did to celebrate? They unfurled the blue and white World Food Programme flag -- and then they raised it high.
Crayons. Paper. Paint. Welcome to art class, where kids around the globe dive into their imaginations to create their own worlds. This art class, however, is inside Kilis Refugee Camp in Turkey. Its students: young refugees who were forced to flee their homes in Syria because of conflict and violence. As they put crayon to paper, out pours memories – of home, of the conflict, of their frightening journey to the refugee camp where they are now safe. It’s troubling to see the very real images of Kalashnikovs and other guns and tanks they pull from their imaginations. The home they remember is part refuge, part war zone; and it’s clear just how much these kids have been through.
This October 16th is World Food Day, an international day marking the challenge of hunger in the world and how together we can fight it. As the global community comes together to raise awareness about hunger, we could talk about how hunger is the world’s greatest solvable problem. We could talk about how it keeps kids from reaching their full potential or how solving it boosts economies and builds a more stable world. Instead, we’d like to tell you about one teenage girl we know. Her name is Molly.