Three years ago, Sekina Hassen (right) was a first grader at Udassa Repi Elementary School in Ethiopia.
At seven years old, she was the oldest of three daughters in her family and dreamed of becoming a teacher or doctor. Sekina’s father worked as a local policeman, but his paychecks couldn’t buy enough food for the family. For Sekina and thousands of children like her in Ethiopia, the first meal of the day happens at school. At 10:30am, cooks prepare a hot cereal made of locally-grown corn and beans, and the students line up to fill their plates.
Sekina loved it and looked forward to it every day. “It’s very tasty,” she said with a smile. Back home, she would eat bread for lunch and dinner because it was the most her father could afford. Sekina didn’t know it, but her most nutritious meal was made possible by WFP.
Today, three years later, the regional government where her school is located is now self-funding and operating the program for 850,000 students without WFP’s help. It’s an example of the long-term agricultural and economic benefits that WFP works so hard to help communities achieve.