Molly is a teenage girl who receives a meal from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) every day at school in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya. This slum is one of the poorest places in the world, but this daily meal means Molly comes to school and has the nutrition she needs to succeed once she's in the classroom. It means she gets a healthy start to life and an opportunity taken for granted by so many of her peers lucky enough to grow up in the developing world: to dream of a brighter future, one beyond poverty.
This story begins with a small video camera. It wasn't just any camera, but a pink and white flip cam donated by Cisco. And thanks to the girl behind the camera, this isn't just any story. This is Molly's story.
Here at WFP we've seen firsthand in our work feeding 90 million people a year that tackling the world's greatest solvable problem calls on all of our expertise. By solving hunger together, we do so much more than make sure everyone has enough to eat: we build the brains and bodies of the next generation and a safer, more secure world. And it's the technical know-how of our private sector partners that drives our innovation - from developing new nutritional products that help malnourished kids get healthy faster to banking systems that transfer food vouchers to the world's poor via text message. This World Food Day, it's a small flip cam bringing one girl's story to the world.
Last spring, we gave Molly this camera to film her daily life. In the footage she shared with us, we saw her classroom and met her teacher; we learned her cousin's dance moves and watched her light the candle she uses to do her homework every night. We also saw one of the highlights of her day: the red bowl filled to the brim with a nutritious mix of rice and beans. Molly is like so many of the teenage girls we're proud of: charismatic and determined, soaring to the top of her class and bursting with dreams. Molly's story, however, is remarkable. Without this daily meal at school, Molly might not get anything to eat - or the opportunity to come to school, get an education, and lift herself out of poverty.
There's a story like Molly's behind every one of the nearly 26 million school meals we dish up every day. It's not just a bowl of food and a full stomach at stake: it's a future. Last spring, that pink and white camera opened a window and shared Molly's energy with the world. Reporters wrote about her story and in an incredible live-event hosted by Cisco, students in Europe got to talk with Molly and her classmates. That's because her videos didn't just show her daily life. Molly told us in her own way that solving hunger begins with the global community coming together to say: we can.
Molly's camera was just one of 2,500 high-definition cameras donated to WFP by Cisco to help us better tell the story of our lifesaving work. This, however, is more than just corporate social responsibility. It's technology meeting the people we're helping so that they can tell us in their story. Technology like these flip cams empower us to have a global conversation we've never been able to embark on before. This is a conversation without the gap between us and them, one that pulls us to the center of the story and multiplies our impact.
In the face of immense global challenges like hunger, it's easy to believe that we alone can't make a difference. But then a window opens and we see in fact that the opposite is true. Molly showed us that her story is ours, too. We're not asking you to change the world. We're calling on you to help us make sure young people like Molly have enough to eat. They'll change the world for us.
This is a story that began with a video camera but that continues with you. Join us in sharing Molly's story and helping us feed 50,000 kids like her by World Food Day this October 16th here.