Every year, the World Food Programme organises a drawing contest in each of the countries where it has a school feeding programme. This year, the topic was “Zero Hunger, Endless Possibilties,” aiming to show how good nutrition can pave the way for a better future. This year, WFP Mali held the competition only in the Mopti region in order to provide better support for the participating schools.
Out of the schools that participated, the judges from WFP Mali found the submissions from Bongo Tapily school, in the village of Boro, the most creative. The artists behind the top five drawings each received framed certificates, and the school itself received pens, notebooks, footballs, and storybooks.
Oumar Karembe, 11, is in the 4th grade. His parents are farmers, and he has six siblings: two brothers and four sisters. He wants to rule the school one day: he hopes to be a school principal.
“My drawing represents a hungry person who transforms themselves into a bird, and flies away to find food. To end hunger in Mali, we should work the land together!”
He said that the meals he receives through the school meals programme takes some of the burden off of his family.
“The school canteen lets my parents feed other family members with my share of the food at home.”
Aljouma Tapily, 10, is also in the fourth grade. He has big dreams for the future of his community.
“With my drawing, I wanted to show that once WFP stops supporting our canteen, we should grow our own food in order to keep it going. I want all of Africa to come together to work the land and end hunger.”
Hama Tapily, 16: “On my drawing, we see two people that are hungry and asked a mango tree to give them food. But the mango tree refuses, telling them that if they don’t look after their trees, they won’t receive food. To end hunger, we first need peace – then we can work together to fight hunger.”
Hama appreciates the school canteen in his school. “The canteen helps children to study. When our bellies are full, we can think better.”
“People need to get together to fish and feed the comunity. But when the fish want to lay eggs we have to leave them alone, or else tomorrow there won’t be any fish left to eat,” advises Madou Ouologuem, 12. He is in grade three, and is planning on becoming the President one day.
Mamadou Karembe, 16, is in grade five. He is also planning on growing up to be President – so he and Madou will have to see who wins their election.
“I’m happy that WFP provides food for our canteen, as it helps us to keep the children at school. But WFP’s help cannot last forever. People need to work to fight hunger.”
NOTE: In Mali, WFP is aiming to reach over 225,000 vulnerable children with its school feeding programme in 2015. Despite security challenges, WFP continues to operate in all regions of the country. Nearly 2.5 million Malians struggle to feed themselves and their families: in areas of the country where WFP has secure and consistent access, WFP works with communities to imrove their abilities to prevent and cope with future shocks. School feeding programmes help to both reduce malnutrition and improve access to education. However, WFP’s operations for 2015 are only 38 percent funded.