The Syrian civil war has raged on for over three years now, and recent escalation means there is no end in sight. The conflict has come in-and-out of focus in the voracious American news cycle, overtaken by stories of the Mid-term elections, racial tensions in Ferguson, and the new Taylor Swift album. That has not stopped International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) participant, Matthew Hollingworth, and the World Food Programme (WFP) from working tirelessly to provide food to the starving Syrian people. CBS’s 60 Minutes recently illuminated his story.
Matthew Hollingworth heads the WFP mission inside of Syria, despite a growing gap between available funding and number of mouths to feed. For example, WFP estimates that more than six million Syrians do not know where their next meal will come from. During the course of his work, Hollingworth has seen heartbroken masses of men, women, and children fleeing the country in search of food, hope, and dignity, been shot at while delivering aid to besieged cities, and saved lives through his courageous leadership.
Meridian International Center is proud to have worked with Hollingworth in 2008 on an IVLP program focused on emergency and disaster management. There is no doubt that Hollingworth is using the skills and knowledge he gained in the United States in his work with WFP.
How have you used your IVLP experience for social good? Let us know in the comments.