Child of war wins UN World Food Programme’s art contest

Jeric Mansat, Grade six pupil of New Kalibo Elementary School in Barangay New Kalibo in M’lang, North Cotabato, received the $100 gift, while his school was given $200 for the purchase of stationery and other art materials for other school children interested in painting and other work of art.

Valerie Guarnieri, country director of the World Food Program for Philippines, handed over the prize.

“These children are our future. It’s important to invest in them,”  Guarnieri said

The WFP press release said Mansat was named as one of the winners in the international WFP Children's Art Competition for 2007, an annual event organized by the United Nations-WFP.         

Mansat’s winning piece was about the transition from a child participating in WFP-sponsored school feeding program to a happy graduate.   It was one of the 13 finalists selected from a shortlist of 200 drawings by primary schoolchildren in 40 different countries all over the globe.

Jeric, who likes honest and helpful people and lists reading books and magazines as some of his hobbies, wants to be an engineer when he grows up so he can build houses for street children.

All the participants are attending schools participating in WFP’s worldwide school feeding programs, designed to primarily fortify the health of school children and keep them active in the classroom.

Participating students receive a daily, mid-morning snack of recipes from corn soya blend (CSB) enriched by 13 essential vitamins and minerals.

This year’s theme for the competition was, “The Difference WFP School Meals Make to My Life”.Five drawings exploring the theme were originally submitted to the competition judges in Rome, Italy. 

They were selected from more than 11 designs sketched by students from schools in the Philippines.

“We congratulate these young artists for creating such unique and inspiring works,” Guarnieri said.         

The designs from WFP’s global competition are currently being incorporated into greeting cards, calendars and agendas, all of which will soon be available for sale on WFP’s website,  (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)