Lanao’s Nasif Cali wins UN Children’s Design Contest

Grade 6 student Nasif Cali from Lanao del Norte in Northern Mindanao is one of the 20 students from across the globe to win the 2016 Children’s Design Competition organized by the United Nations World Food Programme (UN WFP).

Nasif Cali artwork
Nasif Cali artwork

The 12-year old’s winning design was selected among 70 submissions from 14 countries where the UN WFP had school meal programmes.

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Cali’s winning drawing features his dream of a hunger-free world, following the competition theme “Zero Hunger: The Future is in our hands.”

“My drawing depicts people belonging to the different races across the world uniting together through love, peace, joy, faith and hope for a better future for all of mankind,” said the young designer from Denaig Elementary School in Poona Piagapo, Lanao del Norte in a WFP release.

WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director Praveen Agrawal talked about Cali’s win:

“We are extremely proud of the creativity shown by Nasif through his art. His selection is a testament that Filipino children understand the importance of Zero Hunger and have found the means to express it in a way that is universally understood by all. The future indeed is ‘in our hands’.”

“For children in conflict-affected areas like Mindanao, art is a way to express hope,” added Head of WFP Iligan Office Baicon Macaraya. “This drawing sends a message that while poverty, conflict and disaster are real, another truth is the love and concern of humanity to put an end to hunger. Because no child on earth should be deprived of nutritious food.” Cali won a US$100 cash prize while his school receives US$200 for school supplies.

“When I heard that Nasif won the contest, I was so happy,” said Nasif’s mother Tauling Bara.

“From his prize, we can now buy his school uniform and school supplies. We couldn’t provide these things before because his father has no work. I would like to thank WFP for choosing Nasif as one of the winners. This is a very big help for Nasif’s education.”

This is the third time that a Filipino student grabbed a spot among winners of WFP’s annual Children’s Design Competition. Previous winners from WFP-assisted schools were: Carmila Marie Santos from Guillermo A. Gimeno Elementary School and Raida Kasim Esmael from Dadtumeg Elementary School in 2015; and Adzmie B. Kusain from Katidtuan Elementary School, Alaisa W. Ambolodto from Dadtumeg Elementary School, and Christina Erica Arbasto from Tubigon West Central Elementary School in 2014.

Zero Hunger is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted last year by UN member states, including the Philippines. School meals programmes are one of WFP’s key social protection activities in the Philippines that will help the country achieve Zero Hunger. School meals have also been shown to increase the attendance rates of students and provide a nutritionally balanced meal to children.

Since 2006, WFP has been working with its donors and local governments to implement school meals in conflict-affected areas in Central Mindanao. With the help of parents and teachers in public elementary schools, WFP provides a freshly-cooked lunch to 60,000 students in over 200 schools every school year.

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.