Children at over 7,000 schools across Australia will learn about the importance of ending hunger as part of a nationwide campaign launched Tuesday with the help of WFP Youth Ambassador Jessica Watson. The youngest person ever to sail around the world unassisted, Watson learned about the importance of child nutrition last year while visiting WFP school meals programmes in Laos.
BRISBANE–WFP and WFP Youth Representative Jessica Watson, together with Australian non-profit organisations SchoolAid and Global Development Group (GDG), are joining forces to engage Australian students in the fight against child hunger.
They announced their support for the KIDS FIGHTING HUNGER campaign today before an enthusiastic group of primary school children at Wellers Hill State School.
“When I visited Laos with WFP last year, I witnessed the amazing impact that WFP school meals have on the lives of school children, their families and communities,” said WFP Youth Ambassador Jessica Watson.
The youngest person ever to sail around the world unaided, Jessica Watson became a WFP Youth Ambassdor in 2011. Find out more
“It is an honour to be working with WFP, SchoolAid and GDG on this great initiative to teach Aussie school kids the value of education and nutrition and to empower them to help fellow school children in developing countries,” Watson said.
The KIDS FIGHTING HUNGER campaign, which will reach 7,000 schools around the country, will teach Australian primary school children about child hunger around the world and about WFP’s school meals programme.
“One of our greatest responsibilities is to invest in the next generation,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.
“We’re proud to work with Jessica, SchoolAid and GDG for the KIDS FIGHTING HUNGER campaign to educate Australia’s students on global child hunger and invest in the futures of hungry children around the world.”
Students will also be encouraged to raise awareness and funds for WFP in their communities and to donate grains of rice to WFP through the fun and educational game Freerice.com.
The campaign will run from July to September. In October, Jessica Watson will visit the eight schools around the country that have raised the most funds for WFP. All funds will support WFP’s school meals programme in Laos.
Each year, WFP’s school meals programme provides daily nutritious meals to over 22 million school children in 60 countries. It costs only 25 US cents to feed a child for a day, and only US$50 to feed a child in school for a year. These meals encourage poor children, particularly girls, to come to school and allow students to concentrate better on their studies, giving them hope for a brighter future.
Peter Baxter, the Director General of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) said Australia is a strong supporter of WFP’s school feeding programs and the first donor in the world to provide multi-year funding.
Mr Baxter said, “We know that hungry children, children that go to school on empty stomachs, do not learn. Australia is proud to have helped feed over half a million children in 7 of the poorest countries around the world – Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Kenya, Laos, and Myanmar.”
To register your school or class, visit: www.schoolaid.org.au