As a part of Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) international exchange and learning programme for teachers, a group of four teachers (primary and secondary level) visited Malawi in late July 2013 to get a first-hand understanding of challenges in developing countries. During their stay, they visited the World Food Programme (WFP) Malawi country office, where Ms. Haruko Tanaka, a JICA volunteer, has been lending technical support to field programmes since February.
Together with additional WFP field staff, Ms. Tanaka led the teachers on a visit to a nearby health centre where WFP treats acute moderate malnutrition through its Supplementary Feeding Programme (SFP). Through this programme, WFP and the Government of Malawi reach some 22,400 children and pregnant and nursing women every month, providing them with nutritious food rations.
The group was struck by the challenges Malawi still faces in achieving food and nutrition security but was encouraged by the accomplishments of SFP. In 2012, WFP achieved a 90 percent cure rate among those taking part in the Malawi programme.
After the visit, the teachers had the opportunity to meet fellow Japanese national Coco Ushiyama, WFP Representative and Country Director in Malawi, to discuss what they had observed during their stay.
“It was a great opportunity to visit the field since we cannot easily imagine the realities from a classroom in Japan”, said one teacher. “Together with our students, we would like to further our studies of poverty and hunger.”
Ms. Ushiyama stressed the importance of education by sharing her hope that “through education, we would like future generations in Japan to be passionate about studying and contributing to overcoming global challenges like poverty and hunger.”
WFP's Japan office has already initiated a movement to increase awareness and knowledge about world hunger by establishing a learning webpage in Japanese. The site targets elementary and junior high school students and presents simple yet thorough lessons about global food insecurity and WFP programmes designed to end hunger.
Go to the page: http://ja.wfp.org/students