Lost puppy becomes humanitarian mascot at WFP, Cox’s Bazar
Cox’s Bazar, the longest sand beach in the world, has been the headquarters for the huge humanitarian operation that supports nearly one million Rohingya refugees who have fled from Myanmar. Once a month, international humanitarian workers from various charity groups in Cox's Bazar volunteer in a beach cleanup.
At one of these beach cleanups, a group of employees from the World Food Programme (WFP) rescued a four week-old puppy, who has since been named Foxtrot.
Gemma Snowdon, who is originally from New Zealand and now works as a communications officer with the WFP, tried to get it to go back to its mother, but it just kept on following. Besides being very small and exhausted, Foxtrot was severely dehydrated. Eventually Snowdon brought him to her office in the WFP's compound, and he has been running around the compound ever since.
The Rohingya refugees rely on the U.N.'s World Food Programme to feed themselves and their families. The WFP provides food aid, including 8,000 metric tons of rice each month, to the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
The canine mascot now appears in online videos, as a voiceover narration (in the dog's voice) and talks about the important work that WFP is doing to help the Rohingya refugees. "I'm part of the operations in the world's largest refugee camp," Foxtrot earnestly declares in a video while appearing to monitor a computer screen. "I even have my own ID badge! Did you know that more than 870,000 Rohingya refugees are in need of assistance?"
However, not everyone was thrilled about the arrival of Foxtrot at the WFP office in Cox’s Bazar. Some employees didn’t think rescuing a puppy and keeping him at the office would be a good idea. But over time, he’s become an important part of the WFP family.
Foxtrot has a World Food Programme cape that he wears, whenever he goes out in the field. It's sort of the canine equivalent of a humanitarian vest. But, on International Women's Day, he put on a purple Women's Day cape as he toured WFP projects. He also has his own Instagram page, where he makes sure that people are aware of things that the WFP does in Cox's Bazar for the Rohingya operation.
This year's Nobel Peace Prize has been given to the U.N. World Food Programme for its efforts to fight hunger and to prevent the use of starvation as a weapon of war. And Foxtrot was all over Instagram, expressing his excitement about it.
Foxtrot can be found at Humanitarian_Pup on Instagram, and he also occasionally pops up on Twitter.