I want you to meet Fatuma Mohamed. Seriously. Look at her face and read her name again and see her. Do this so that when I share some of her story you can really grasp that she is as real as you and I are. She is a person, a wife, a mother. She doesn’t live on our block or in our town. She doesn’t live in America. She lives in Dadaab, Kenya.
Some brief background on Fatuma: She lost her father when she was 4 years old. Her mother had little money and faced hostility in their family because she refused to be inherited as her father’s brother’s wife. Although her mother had no formal education, she wanted her children to have the opportunity to go to school. At the time the Somali community did not believe in allowing girls to go to school.
Last week, in a call with bloggers learning about a new campaign within the World Food Program USA, Fatuma shared how her mother had to work very hard to get her and her siblings into school. She said, “[My mother] had to convince my uncles I should not look after the kettle, but go to school.”
Fatuma benefited from a school lunch program as early as seven years old. Those hot lunches provided by the WFP allowed Fatuma and her siblings to stay focused in school and continue their education. Fatuma graduated from the Jaribu Primary School and received a University diploma in agriculture and home economics. She now works for the WFP helping make sure programs like the school lunch program continue.
The World Food Program USA is inviting everyone to think of school children in need of school lunch and accept their lunch money challenge. They are asking people to bring a sack lunch to work for five days and donate any money they save towards the three countries within their school meals program. WFP USA’s goal is to raise enough money to fund 300,000 school meals in Kenya, Niger, and Honduras, where WFP USA already supports successful home-grown school meal programs.
In the developing world, 66 million kids come to school hungry each day. Many children don’t attend school at all. Poverty and tradition often exclude girls from education. By helping school meal programs you are helping students grow, you are helping the world.
Here’s what you can do: for the next five days pack a sandwich and a piece of fruit. Repeat 5x. Take the money you would have spent on lunch and donate it to World Food Program USA. Then, spread the word! Ask your friends and family to join you in the lunch money Challenge.
Here’s HOW you can do it:
Step 1: go to World Food Program USA Website
Step 2: Select Honduras, Niger or Kenya
Step 3: Select “Become a Fundraiser” and create your fundraising page
Step 4: Spread the word and reach out to family and friends through email, Facebook and twitter! @WFPUSA #Feedadream
Retweet and spread the word!
I know a little bit about hunger and poverty in America, but beyond our nation the problem is beyond my comprehension. Entire towns are hungry for food and their children are starved for knowledge. Helping school lunch programs feeds body and mind.
“Women are the foundation of every society and girls grow into women and need to be supported. Nothing can move forward in the world without women, mothers, and girls.” – Fatuma Mohamed
This post is part of a campaign with The Mission List and the World Food Program USA. All opinions are my own.