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Guest Speaker: UN World Food Programme

Grauer’s Juniors and Seniors met on Zoom on January 12 with Mirjam Jaring from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), headquartered in Rome, Italy. In 2020, the WFP won the Nobel Peace Prize “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war".

Mirjam described the goal of the WFP as “saving lives and changing lives.” During conflict and natural disasters, WFP saves lives by providing emergency aid, and is almost always the first to reach the most difficult areas. The WFP changes lives by making a more long-term difference, providing areas with the tools to become independent so that they no longer need support. The ultimate objective is to “provide solutions so that people can take care of themselves.” Mirjam also described the School Feeding Programme, which is a big part of WFP. This program encourages kids to go to school by providing meals at school as well as rations that students can take home to their families.

After sharing a short video, Mirjam answered questions and shared her personal experiences. One of her favorite projects is the Homegrown School Feeding project, where local farmers provide food for schools “and everybody is helping everybody to get a better life. Eventually, hopefully they don't need support anymore because everyone is part of the process.” She also recalled her visits to Syria and Madagascar, and described how many of the people who need help right now are in areas of conflict around the world like South Sudan, Yemen, and Syria.

Ella G. '21 said, "It was very inspiring and a powerful message. Especially now, with the pandemic, it gave me a bit of hope." Lucy S. '22 said "It was interesting and exciting to think about all of the possible things we can do in our lives. it made me want to learn more about the ways I can go out into the world and help people."

Learn more about the WFP and their Nobel Peace Prize here: https://www.wfp.org/nobel-laureate

You can also play a game to give free rice through the WFP. For every question answered correctly, sponsors donate the cash equivalent of 5 grains of rice. The money goes to work where it’s needed most – saving and changing lives around the world!


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