On the ground with the World Food Programme
In 2012, the Unilever Foundation chose six employees to become Global Foundation Ambassadors and gain first-hand experience of the programmes run by its partners. Customer key accounts manager Aditya Kankaria travelled from Mumbai to Ecuador to see how a World Food Programme project is transforming lives.
Feeding children & supporting farmers
Aditya arrived in Quito to see how WFP is helping children and smallholder farmers and how its partnership with Unilever can make a difference to hundreds of lives while also helping to grow the business.
He says: “While the above concept may sound great on paper, seeing it in person was truly an astounding experience.”
First up was a visit to a school to view how WFP is helping both smallholder farmers and children suffering from malnutrition. It has set up a programme whereby hundreds of farmers grow vegetables and earn their livelihoods selling their vegetables to the markets and to the schools. Parents and teachers then cook nutritious meals for around 15,000 children.
“It has certainly been fantastic to get the opportunity to witness not only the mechanics, but also the wonderful results of the WFP’s work first hand,” says Aditya.
Creating a win–win situation
On the second leg of his journey Aditya met with the team at the Unilever’s Ecuador office to see how the local business can support the efforts of the WFP. The margarine brand Bonella, for example, will be running a cause-marketing campaign as part of its efforts to highlight the benefits of good nutrition while also fighting child hunger.
“The experience in Ecuador was incredible – on one side it was humbling to seeing the condition of the communities, several of which had come from the civil war infested around the Colombian borders, and on the other side it was extremely motivating to see the passion of the WFP field staff and the immediate desire of Unilever Ecuador to contribute,” says Aditya.
“As an employee of Unilever I felt extremely proud that we were there on the ground trying to partner and dedicate efforts where they were needed the most,” he concludes.