World Vision’s Famine program is a global youth movement against hunger and poverty. Thousands of participants come together for one weekend to engage in voluntary fasting and productive activities in order to raise funds and awareness about world hunger. The World Vision Famine program’s aim is to make young Filipinos realize their worth and power as youth, citizens and fellowmen by becoming leaders in modeling social responsiveness and change.
How it began? Globally, they have spread notably – the international 30 Hour Famine, also the regional 40 Hour Famine in Australia and New Zealand and the 24 Hour Famine in the United Kingdom. It started in 1971 when 14 Calgary, Alberta teenagers staged an event in a church basement to raise money for World Vision.
In the Philippines, HUNGER IS ALREADY HERE!
According to the latest Social Weather Station Survey (2nd Quarter 2010 SWS Survey), the proportion of families experiencing involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months is 21.1% (or an estimated 4.0 million households) which was conducted this June 2010. Hunger has now been over 20% for three successive quarters. It was 21.2% in March 2010, and record-high 24.0% in December 2009. The 1998-2010 average has risen to 13.6%. The measure of Hunger refers to involuntary suffering because the respondents answer a survey question that specifies hunger due to lack of anything to eat. For the Philippines, we are still fortunate compared to our African neighbors because our poor Filipino families and children are not entirely experiencing famine although hunger continues to claim their lives every day.
We’ve all heard stories of hunger — and seen the tragic images of emaciated children with hollow eyes and swollen bellies, one breath away from starvation. But hunger is even more treacherous than these dramatic images convey. Hunger affects every aspect of human development.
Without good nutrition:
A child’s growth will be stunted.
His intellectual and motor skills will be impaired.
His malnourished body will become more vulnerable to disease.
Most likely, he won’t have the energy needed for school.
If he survives to adulthood, his economic prospects will be bleak.
Hunger is anything but yesterday’s problem:
More people are going hungry than ever before — approximately 1 billion worldwide.
The recent global food crisis and economic downturn have added more than 115 million people to the ranks of the hungry over the last couple of years.
Where will the funds go? The urgent problem of hunger is all over the Philippines. The National Statistical Coordination Board (NCSB) has classified 44 provinces in the country to be among the poorest. Currently, World Vision programs that address poverty, hunger, lack of proper sanitation facilities, and lack of education and proper healthcare are present in many of these poorest provinces.
All the funds raised during the “12-hour Famine” will go to areas in dire need where World Vision programs are working intensely to lessen, if not totally eradicate, the pains of poverty. Missamis Occidental is among the 10 poorest provinces in the entire Philippines (out of a total of 81 provinces). World Vision programs have been in this province working to help communities battle poverty. But the task is not easy.
When you join the “12-hour Famine” you are helping raise funds to help thousands of very poor families in the following provinces/cities: Baseco, Malabon, Cavite, Zambales, Isabela, Palawan, Aklan, Antique, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Iligan City, and Missamis Occidental.
Who joins the Famine? Open to all ages 15 years old and above, who are passionate about global issues and wants to DO SOMETHING and make a difference.
Students from high schools, colleges and universities; members of youth organizations and churches are invited to come together and experience the 12-hour Famine for the first time – and that is to create awareness, raise funds and go on voluntary fasting from food for 12-hours.
They can join and register as a group or as an individual. For group registrants, World Vision Famine Group Coordinators can help facilitate sign-ups and group fundraising activities that will support their fundraising targets.