More than 40 Columneetza students will be going without food for 30 hours next week to raise funds for the work of World Vision in Africa.
The students had the option of supporting food relief, education, or water projects but felt food for famine relief in the Horn of Africa was the greatest need.
“The funds raised by April 25 will be going to help feed African families who do not have access to food,” says Stephanie Tucker, the 18-year-old Grade 12 student who is organizing the event.
She is making pleas for donations from local businesses and community groups. Participating students are also collecting donations on pledge sheets.
Stephanie is not unfamiliar with poverty.
In 2010, she and her family took a year off to volunteer helping the poor in Peru through an organization called Bruce Peru.
“The idea that Africa is poorer than what we saw in Peru is tragic,” Stephanie says.
“This is why this problem needs help. Facts of death so often from malaria, AIDS, or just dying from malnutrition are all too realistic.
“My hope is that as a community we can come together and support each other in the fundraising and awareness of this tragedy in Africa.”
On Tuesday, April 24 the participating Columneetza students will stop eating at 9 p.m. and not eat again until 7:30 a.m. on April 26.
They will stay overnight in the school gym where they will play games and watch the movie Slum Dog Millionaire.
They will break their fast by cooking and eating breakfast together.
World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine is the world’s biggest youth fundraiser.
Funds raised help provide emergency relief for families impacted by drought in the Horn of Africa.
World Vision projects for 2012 include training 800 families to farm and store food; provide 800 families with a cow and seeds for plants to prevent future droughts; and give oxen and ox-ploughs to farmers.
The program also helps to organize farmers to work together and grow more crops, and to improve the nutrition of pregnant women, mothers and young children.
Stephanie says she learned about World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine project several months ago while researching for university scholarships.
Organizers earn a chance to win a university scholarship and a chance to go with World Vision on a charitable mission to Africa.