The WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger Brazil welcomed back the Lesotho delegation for the closing workshop of the “Virtual Study Visit: Brazil” on October 21st. The virtual visit is a joint initiative with the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) and the National Fund for Education Development (FNDE) and presents the fundamental pillars of the Brazilian experience with food and nutritional security to a global audience. The methodology consists of a series of videos that simulate an immersion into the Brazilian National School Feeding Programme (PNAE). They are complemented by online workshops, where participants can exchange questions, learnings and discuss possible joint next steps.
Cecilia Malaguti, ABC’s Coordinator-General of South-South and Triangular Cooperation with International Organizations, highlighted the growing relevance of school meals as a central tool for social protection in the context of a global sanitary and economic crisis. “The exchanges we are having today exemplify the main goals and purpose of our South-South Cooperation strategy. School feeding has always been a priority and fundamental theme for the Brazilian international cooperation initiatives. We see it as a key solution to mitigate the worldwide rising levels of poverty and hunger”, said Cecilia.
The closing workshop brought together 45 participants from the Lesotho Ministry of Education and Training and the local WFP office, as well as representatives from FNDE, ABC, the Brazilian Embassy in Pretoria and the WFP Centre of Excellence. The meeting was an interactive question and answer session, where participants exchanged lessons learned and good practices. Some of the common challenges discussed included establishing robust legal frameworks, defining funding strategies, promoting community participation, and investing in capacity development and multisectoral collaboration for policy implementation.
Bruno Costa e Silva, representing FNDE, emphasized the value of the session for both sides of the exchange. “These workshops are a very important learning experience for us too. Being introduced to other models, such as the one in Lesotho, helps us to keep improving the design and implementation of our school feeding programme here in Brazil too”, said Bruno.
In his final remarks, Dhira Khama, Principal Secretary of Basic Education in Lesotho, recalled that this is an important and initial step in the collaboration between the governments of Lesotho, Brazil and WFP. “We learned a lot from the videos and the virtual meetings, and we have noted many things that we would like to incorporate into our own programme. We want to continue to engage and get all the support we can to make sure that school feeding is a success in our country”, concluded Dhira Khama.
The virtual visit is a central tool within the WFP Centre of Excellence’s remote support methodology, an initiative that seeks to provide technical assistance in a flexible and cost-effective way. To learn more about the “Virtual Study Visit: Brazil” and request a virtual visit, please click here.