KC is named UN Nat'l Ambassador for fight vs. hunger
- Ricky L. Calderon () - February 20, 2008 - 12:00am

(INTRO) KC Concepcion was chosen by the United Nations as National Ambassador against hunger for t World Food Program (WFP). She went on a three-month screening process and got approved by three UN offices; namely, Rome, Vatican, and Thailand. She's only the third person to be chosen from Southeast Asia.

She went to Pikit, South Cotabato last Monday morning, February 18, for her first work as national ambassador of WFP. They had two purposes in going to the place. First, was to distribute take-home rice to the listed families. A family can only receive free rice if their children are in school. Second, KC and UN WFP staff went to several schools for the on-site feeding and distribution of warm formulated meals.
"I am so happy to be connected with the right channels. It's quite a feat to feed hungry children everyday and help resolve conflict and keep them in school," said KC in her text message.

KC also said that WFP is working hand in hand with the government to help implement the feeding program. Both the WFP and the government are hopeful that the hunger issue among the people would be properly addressed.

One of the things that WFP would like to happen is to make hunger a big issue, just like the importance being given to AIDS and poverty.
"Di ba Bono [frontman of the UK band U2] launched this super-astig campaign against poverty? I want sana to have the hunger and malnutrition problem covered by the media at least once a week, because it's an issue that is as important or even more so, but none is paying so much attention to it,” said KC.

“That's part of my job—to help WFP put the issue of hunger at the center of attention as a child dies of hunger somewhere around the world. Kawawa naman. So the focus here is food for school to make kids stay in school. This also lessens child labor."

KC also learned that 50 percent of children in Mindanao suffer from hunger. This was based on the data taken since June 2007. Furthermore, studies revealed that every five seconds a child somewhere around the world dies of hunger.

Hot meals are provided by WFP to 16,000 children in 277 schools and day care centers. The WFP has increased enrollment by 40 percent and has sustained attendance by 94 percent in assisted schools.

The WFP program is operational in over 800 schools in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao. Only 33% of children in Mindanao are able to finish primary education. Forty percent of the parents who are are unable to send their children to school cite the lack of food or hunger as a contributing factor.

KC took part of the feeding program of WFP when she went to Pikit. She had lunch with the UN team, together with Mayor Sumulong Sultan and his wife, and the WFP Country Director Valerie Guarnerie.

They had a Muslim style lunch, seating on colorful sarongs spread on the floor. They were served crab, fish, seafood, and wrapped rice with ulam inside. They ate together with the kids who were part of the feeding program. She also tasted the formulated meals given to the children.

It was only her first trip as national ambassador of WFP but KC said that she has learned a lot about the World Food Program and the beautiful culture of Mindanao.

Upon the completion of the visit for the food education program of the WFP, KC is now set to formally sign on as national ambassador against hunger on Thursday, February 21. This will be the official press launch as well.

The UNWFP Country Director Valerie Guarnerie and KC decided to do the visit prior to the press launch so that KC would gain hands-on experience and learn more about the work to be required of her as national ambassador.

“It was great to see how active the provincial government was in helping the UN to implement the feeding program, particularly Mayor Sumulong Sultan and his wife,” said KC. So now, after the visit, KC will wholeheartedly sign on as national ambassador for WFP.

COUNTRY COUNTRY DIRECTOR VALERIE GUARNERIE HUNGER MAYOR SUMULONG SULTAN MINDANAO PLACE WFP
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