In a global effort to eradicate hunger, WFP has called on people in well over one hundred countries to take to the streets and “Fight Hunger: Walk the World” on Sunday 21 May.
The initiative, which started in 2003, will see people of all ages and nationalities join together in one voice to call for an end to the hunger that afflicts over 300 million children.
Beginning in Auckland, New Zealand at 10am, and occurring sequentially for 24 hours across 24 time zones, the five-kilometre walks are as diverse as their locations.
Around the world
Here are just a few of the ways chosen to throw the spotlight on child hunger:
• WFP’s own security officer, Mark Squirrel, planted his flag at the top of Mount Everest in Nepal on 18 May after setting off to conquer the world’s highest mountain on 4 April. ‘Squiz’ - as he is known to his friends – took time off from his job and sought sponsorship to help him combine his personal dream of scaling the peak while helping the children of his Nepal. The proceeds from his Everest bid will go to WFP’s school feeding programmes in Nepal.
• Meanwhile, in Tanzania a twenty-strong group has set off to climb Kilimajaro. The group ranges from 15-year-old school feeding beneficiary Neema Seth to Samson Ramadhani, Tanzania’s gold medal marathon runner.
• In “Sail the World” a crew of sixteen taking part in a round the world yacht race will dedicate five miles of their trip to Walk the World at 10am on 21 May, adding their voice to the world’s walkers. The Jersey Clipper will be off the Pacific coast of the USA when its crew “joins the march”.
• In northern Uganda, home to one of the most challenging conflict situations on the face of the earth, 40,000 displaced people who receive humanitarian aid are walking. These are civilians—mothers, fathers and children who are cut off from their homes and livelihoods by the conflict and forced to live in camps.
• This year will see children out in force and some 100,000 children are expected to walk in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. Most of these are beneficiaries of WFP’s hugely successful school feeding programme.
• More than 50,000 school children are expected to walk in Liberia. Meanwhile in Brazil, children will get their heads together to discuss solutions to child hunger before embarking on the march.
• Also in Brazil, thousands of people will watch the film "The Constant Gardener" during the Walk the World kick off ceremonies to be held in Salvador da Bahia and Guarulhos. The film, which was set in Africa and featured WFP’s operations, illustrates the difficulties faced by those affected by hunger and poverty.
• In Moscow, 10,000 people are walking next to Red Square.
• “Catwalk the World” sees fashion industry professionals banding together to highlight hunger through a series of high profile fashion shows across the world. The event, which kicked off in Lagos, Nigeria last month, will raise money for school feeding.
• Fight Hunger is auctioning items signed by celebrities such as t-shirts and hats signed by Irish aid campaigner Sir Bob Geldof.
• A group of musicians are offering their services to the Fight Hunger initiative by providing samples of their work to be sold on line.
For more on these initiatives and updates on the walks, go to the Fight Hunger website.