TNT, a Europe-based logistics company, established Walk the World, a global fundraising event to help the United Nations – World Food Programme (WFP) create awareness on the growing problem that is child hunger.
The walk, which drummed up support for WFP’s Global School Feeding Programme, happened in 24 time zones in 24 hours starting in New Zealand.
Valerie Guarnieri, WFP Country Director, said the Feeding Programme, which focuses its efforts in Mindanao, “provides nutritious food as an incentive to bring children to school and keep them there.”
Lanao del Sur children stay in school, gain weight
PBSP partnered with WFP in an education and health project for schoolchildren and mothers in Lanao del Sur, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) last year. Lanao del Sur is one of the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.
Some 37,000 school-age children were fed through PBSP’s Lanao Sur Food Aid Programme funded by WFP.
The Food Aid Program served daily hot nutritious meals and distributed various food commodities like rice, corn-soya blend, oil and sugar.
Aside from pupils, the others who benefited from the food aid were children under two years old, pregnant and lactating women, and individuals who attended skills trainings, and volunteered for community work.
“In co-operation with PBSP, WFP delivered 3,935 metric tons of food covering 25 conflict-affected municipalities in Lanao del Sur which was instrumental in…increasing school attendance, improving concentration and learning (among schoolchildren),” said Guarnieri in a January 2008 letter addressed to Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of PBSP and PLDT.
Parents, who used to force their children to miss school to help in their livelihood, started to see the value of education beyond the food incentives.
The Food Aid Program has also seen tremendous improvement in the children’s weight. Children-participants gained weight by 60 to 65 percent, based on the project’s terminal report.
Member-companies donate basic needs
PBSP member-companies and corporate friends also donated food products and basic necessities to Lanao del Sur beneficiaries.
Kraft gave 259,200 liters of juice benefiting 65,000 children. United Laboratories also gave vitamins and iron supplements for children and pregnant/lactating women.
SM Foundation provided seven sets of refrigerators and coolers for transportation and storage of vaccines and temperature-sensitive medicines.
Through End Hunger: Walk the World, WFP and TNT assert that “Child Hunger has no place in this world.”