Bolivia: a meal, a future

The World Food Program (WFP) is a UN program that was set up over 50 years ago to support development, long term refugees, displaced people, and provide emergency food in natural or man-made disasters. It emerged as a three-year pilot program and, unfortunately, has not stopped being necessary over the last five decades.

 The WFP provides school meals to 18 million children in 65 countries and collaborates with different entities and institutions. In 2014, Repsol became the first energy company to sign an agreement with the entity and in 2018 the collaboration has been extended to the 20 countries in which both the company and the WFP are present.

 Repsol, through the Fundación Repsol, has developed two programs located in Peru and Bolivia, with nutritional education and school meals for the most vulnerable. Specifically, Bolivia has been one of the 22 countries where almost 1,000 Repsol volunteers have worked as part of Repsol International Volunteer Week which took place from November 26 to December 2, to take a further step towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

On November 26 more than 350 children from April 12 of Palo Blancos school received with songs, dances and poetry, the help of the Repsol volunteers and the WFP. It was an intense day where they had to multiply efforts in order to feed all the students, a titanic job carried out daily by a single cook with a budget of less than half a dollar per person per day. “In this place I have realized the importance of the food that is provided to these children,” says Repsol employee and volunteer María Nelda, “since this is practically the only reason they attend school, and in many cases the food they receive istheir only meal of the day.”

The following day, the activity took place at the Los Naranjos school in the Entre Ríos province. Nevertheless, a scarce infrastructure that, with the help of its own natural resources, was able to feed its 160 students and 10 teachers on time. With the emotionof the volunteers who saw their childhood reflected in those children, on November 28 all the volunteers visited the Hermanas Vicentinas Canteen in Tarija. An average of 100 people in vulnerable situations (homeless and disabled people, children …) come to this center in search of their only daily meal, for themselves and their families. There was enough peanut soup and noodle stew for everyone, in more than just a canteen, where the needy are welcome, can socialize, and find support.

Access to food is a fundamental right, a basic need that can condition a life, a future. The collaboration between Repsol and the WFP will allow us to continue taking food where it is most needed, an experience that for the volunteers means seeing first-hand the impact of their involvement, “We are very grateful for having been able to have these experiences, they motivate us to move forward.”

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