Photo: WFP/Annabel Symington

Cheers to Friendship! Meet Seven Sets of Companions Making the Best out of Life

World Food Program USA
Published July 30, 2021

“Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division — such as poverty, violence, and human rights abuses — among many others — that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony among the world’s peoples. To confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship.” – The United Nations General Assembly, 2011

The spirit of camaraderie underlies all of our work at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). We work hand-in-hand with local businesses, nonprofits and governments all over the world to feed the most vulnerable people. In our nearly 60-year history, we’ve come across a lot of inspiring friendships, and we’re honored to support them with our work.

In honor of International Day of Friendship, here are seven of our most memorable:

Hateem and Amal

two schoolgirls smile while snacking
Photo: WFP/Annabel Symington

Hateem (left) and Amal (right) both dream of becoming doctors when they grow up. They’re often seen walking hand-in-hand around school, laughing and sharing snacks together.

In Yemen, we support around 1 million schoolchildren with snacks like to boost nutrition and empower girls like Hateem and Amal to dream of bright, healthy futures.

David and Eric

Photo: WFP/Davinah Nabirye

David (left) and Eric (right) have been schoolmates in Uganda since they were little. David wants to be an engineer, and Eric wants to be a preacher in the Catholic Church. The pair play together, learn together and eat together thanks to school meals provided by us and our partnership with the Ugandan Government.

“If I had a superpower, I would make very fast and strong cars,” says David.

Reema and Tasheen

Six-year-old Reema (left) and eight-year-old Tasheen (right) love their school in Lahj, Yemen. They also get to eat a meal every day thanks to our school feeding program. They’re often seen like this – about to share a secret. The conflict in Yemen is nearly as old as they are, so it’s all they’ve ever known. Growing up together in strife has made their bond especially strong.

Nutrition affects children’s physical health, but also their psychosocial and emotional development: the qualities that help them form the bonds of friendship.

The Dream Team

Photo: WFP/Giulio d'Adamo

From left to right, Anyama, Pio, Willam and Bullen formed a bond while clearing, weeding and planting together.

We make plenty of friends through our Food For Assets programs around the world: They provide lifesaving food in exchange for people’s work on community infrastructure like roads, dams and irrigation systems.

This dream team got to know each other in South Sudan while working together to clear a crop field, weed and plant vegetables, and distribute cash to community members. William, one of our Program Officers, worked with Bullen and Anyama of Action Africa Help to help Pio and his community get it all done.

This is how we get to know our local partners and the people we serve.

Soap Sisters

Fourteen years ago, Hawa Adam Al-Nour and her family fled their home in West Darfur State, leaving everything they owned behind in search of safety and food.

Now, with a little help from the same Food for Assets program, Hawa runs a thriving soap business with four new friends in her Darfur refugee camp. This quartet is looking at a bright future.

When refugees are forced from their homes, communities and safety nets, we work hard to help them find the opportunities and community they need to rebuild.

Fajr and Merie

two boys with arms around each other
Photo: WFP/Hussam Al Saleh

We first me Fajr (right) and Merie (left) when they were nine years old living in the Syrian Swaida Youth Camp. The two spent all their time together, inside and outside the classroom. War-torn Syria and life inside the camp is all they remember now, but their friendship still puts a smile on their faces.

“Although we look pretty much the same, we are friends not relatives,” Fajr said.

Tsigereda and Hawa

In our line of work, tough circumstances often bring people together. In Ethiopia, Tsigereda (left) and Hawa (right) met in a U.N. World Food Programme-supported HIV/AIDS program that trains participants in financial management. This pair is now part of a village savings and loan association that links their small businesses to local markets and financing.

“The saving association has created a friendly atmosphere and communal life for us,” Tsigereda said.

We know firsthand what people, organizations, governments and countries can achieve through friendships and trusted partnership. Donate today to help us bolster these relationships and get lifesaving help to our friends around the world.