5th Class, 2009-2011
Field Placement: World Food Program, Bolivia
Maielle Helman’s work with the WFP focused on supporting the Bolivian Government’s National Education Strategy, within the Ministry of Education, to help formalize a national school feeding program. This entailed creating legislation that would require local governments to provide food in all schools, organizing national data/statistics and developing indicators to measure the educational and health impact of school feeding, and coordinating efforts among relevant stakeholders. As part of this effort, Maielle contributed to a variety of areas such as curriculum development and nutrition education, ongoing capacity building, educational evaluation and learning techniques, and policy-making in motion. In addition to her work in the capital, Maielle conducted field trainings throughout the country on school gardens and on the management of school feeding programs.
Policy Placement: World Food Program, Rome, Italy
In her policy placement, Maielle Helman worked to define a new implementation approach to school feeding as part of WFP’s Policy, Planning and Strategy Division. This new approach focuses on local institutional capacity strengthening, sustainability strategies, leadership through experience and global partnerships. The tools designed and developed through this approach were used by nine pilot countries in addition to others interested in adapting their school feeding programs. She analyzed research related to home grown school feeding to inform future strategic program decisions. Maielle also contributed to WFP’s South-South cooperation through the development of a new Centre for Capacity Development in School Feeding, Nutrition and Food Security in Brazil and she provided country support to Mozambique.
Maielle Helman’s professional experience has focused on improving basic education and maternal and child health practices in Latin America and Africa. In rural Mexico, Maielle worked as a teacher for a summer reinforcement program and later went on to work with small businesses and agricultural projects in Nicaragua. Maielle received her MA in International Training and Education from American University. While getting her Master’s degree, Maielle contributed to teacher training and other educational initiatives at Creative Associates. At Population Services International, she worked on health interventions such as HIV/AIDS and nutrition, and then moved to Mozambique to support malaria and safe water practices. Maielle enjoys incorporating her language skills into her work and gets great satisfaction from working on projects that benefit children. She is a native New Yorker and received her BA in Mathematics from Northwestern University.