Teachers Play a Vital Role in Keeping Kids Fed and Healthy Around the World. Meet Six of These Heroes.

World Food Program USA
May 3, 2021
Photo: WFP/Bart Verweij

Hooray for teachers!

May 4th marks National Teacher Appreciation Day. While we think committed educators around the world deserve our appreciation all year long, we’re celebrating them a little extra today.

These humble heroes do so much more than educate minds young and old. They offer guidance, friendship, socialization – and in the most difficult places, even structure, comfort and food. Teachers go above and beyond – especially in countries where the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) works.

Let’s visit a few of them:

Cambodia 

A teacher smiles, standing with four young students.

Rous, 25, teaches these young ones at the Happy Tap at Angserey Primary School in Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia. Happy Tap students like these four get U.N. World Food Programme school meals as part of our global school feeding program. That daily nutrition helps them fill up and focus on Rous’ lessons. We’re working with schools across Cambodia to help fight malnutrition around the country.

Nepal

A teacher stands in front of a classroom of students, reading from a book.

U.N. World Food Programme school meals keep kids in classrooms across Nepal, too.

Nanda Kumari Saud, 24, is a teacher at Shree Janajyoti Lower Secondary School. Our school meals kept her nourished when she was a child herself. She says becoming a teacher in her village – where she’s economically empowered and able to support both her students and her own children – brings her great joy.

School meals are a powerful incentive for struggling parents to send their children to school and to keep them there, learning from teachers like Nanda.

Democratic Republic of Congo

A woman smiles, standing next to a tutor in front of a chalkboard.

Adults need teachers too! This enthusiastic U.N. World Food Programme tutor (in orange) helped Furaha, a shop-owner in Kahseke, DRC, learn how to read. With her new skills, she’s now president of her village savings group and is better able to manage the profits she makes from her small business.

Bangladesh

A teacher sits on the ground, handing biscuits to children.

In refugee camps, where resources are scarce and schools are often makeshift, teachers go above and beyond regular teaching duties. As part of our school meals program in the largest refugee camp in the world in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, this teacher hands out fortified biscuits to kids in desperate need of nutrition.

South Sudan

A teacher holds a young baby while standing in front of a classroom full of students.

Aren’t teachers the best multitaskers in the world? This instructor at an orphanage in Juba, one of the biggest schools in South Sudan, proves they just might be. As she instructs – and cares for – these young minds, we’re busy providing around 2,500 meals a day to hungry kids at her school.

Ethiopia

A teacher in a white coat stands in front of a classroom of students in green uniforms.

Efrem shows up every day to teach this gaggle of schoolgirls and boys at the ARRA primary school in Sheder refugee camp in Ethiopia. By the time they get to camp schools, refugee kids have often experienced some of the most devastating hardships imaginable. Teachers in the camps are the heroes that provide some consistency and normalcy to young ones who’ve lost so much.

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Teachers are the guardians and caretakers of young and adult minds all over the world. We’re so grateful for their commitment to seeing their students learn and grow.

The U.N. World Food Programme has their back, providing millions of school meals across 70 countries to reduce malnutrition, promote healthy development and keep children focused and learning from their wonderful teachers.

Learn more about our school feeding program here.