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Saturday, June 13, 2009

TweetThis! Subi's Personal Reflection with the WFP blog - On the road. We're fighting hunger, come with us

I was watching the videos from the recently launched WFP's video blog - On the Road -  which Abby introduced me to. I wrote back to Abby saying that I was going to blog about WFP's blog, I didn't however mention the core reason why I was going to do that. Little did Abby know that what I saw in the videos just reminded me of my childhood, the primary school I attended and the porridge (maize/corn flower mixed with water and other health enriching nutritional ingredients) we drank in school at 11:00hrs - Mondays to Fridays.
Fight World HungerI remember sitting in a full class of 30 - 45 pupils while our neighbor school, had 10 -20 people even though their classes compared to ours were of equal capacity, size and area.

The secret behind our school's high recruitment, staying in school and increased performance was behind the school's food programme (SFP) - in our particular school, it was porridge. Our school had more students performing better and joining government schools. Pupils were energetic almost all the time and did well in sports competition. Parents would make sure that their kids do not miss a day in school because the worries of preparing a meal for them in the afternoon were gone.

Unlike in the developed countries where a child returns home and get something from the fridge or fast meal before dinner, in my country, Tanzania that is, the enriched porridge was all they had in their stomachs for the whole day. Miss that and you starve. We didn't go to school expecting to buy food from the cafeteria, there was none and besides, who would afford buying something from a shop? Seeing the work of WFP has taken me back to the days when growing and going to school in the rural Tanzania was fun, something you look forward to. Weekends were not welcome, why? No porridge! The porridge I had at school gave me enough energy to carry the day and focus in class. The WFP's  #2 video in particular reminded me of my old golden days. The WFP and SFP is the best project to have been implemented to schools in some countries such as my own, Tanzania. It is for this reason that I have so much respect for the work of WFP and thank all who donate their money, time and effort to making sure that the underprivileged and underserved people do feel the touch of a generous helping hand. Video #3 reminds me of my work when I used to visit people at their homes and deliver home based care, helping them due to their weakned bodies and therefore inability to perfrom simple daily activities or even attend health care clinics.

Exactly one week ago, this blog posted pictures of the week in which one features Tanzania Prime Minister, H.E. Mizengo Pinda, the WFP ambassador and the Excecutive director of IPP, Mr. Reginald Mengi taking a 5km walk, an effort geared towards collecting and raising some funds in support of WFP's School Food Programme.

So, how did Abby introduce me to the WFP blog? Here is how:
We, the UN World Food Programme, recently launched a video blog called On the Road - with the first series is set in Tanzania looking at nutrition centers, gives you a taste of Masai goat and follows school kids as they walk 6kms to get water to cook their lunch.
It's gritty, personal and uses cheap technology (namely a flip cam and Camtasia for editing, usually by candle light). The bloggers are people on the field, who often are working against the clock on their laptop's battery's life.
It's very different from anything a UN agency has created before. Usually content and video for UN agencies are produced by professionals and go through the wringer before they're approved, so getting traffic to justify it's existence would help! I'm hoping you'll help spread the word for us on your blog and any social networks you're active on?

You can find On the Road here: http://www.wfp.org/on-the-road
There are banners here: http://www.wfp.org/how-to-help/community/link-us

And this is the image we're using as an avatar for the blog:
Feel free to drop me an email with any questions you have about it?

Many Thanks
Abby Ravera
World Food Programme - Online Marketing Coordinator
Address: Via C.G.Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148, Rome, Italy
Telephone: +39-06-65131
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube
Abby, you are doing an amazing job and on top of it, you are spreading the word. Thank you for making us aware of the works of WFP.

2 feedback :

Abby Ravera said... Sun Jun 14, 04:32:00 AM MST  

Subi, what an incredibly beautiful post! Thank you so much for taking the time to tell others about On the Road with your own story!

I'm hoping to add a quote from your words to our homepage and will send a link when we do :)

Subi said... Mon Jun 15, 12:53:00 PM MST  

Hi Abby,
Thanks for reading the post and recommending some parts of it.
I give credits when due.

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