For Margot Bandy, a mother of 10 from Moncton, N.B., being busy in school isn’t a reason for her children to not have time to help kids in developing countries. That’s why over the years, eight of her children have found the time to participate in an event that’s all about helping those kids: they’ve completed the 30 Hour Famine.
“As a family, we have sponsored children and chosen gifts through the [World Vision Gift] catalogue,” says Margot. “But the Famine is a way for the kids to take ownership of their involvement, since they do so much of it themselves.”
In size, there’s nothing like the 30 Hour Famine. Each year, youths in 21 countries participate in famine events as groups or individuals, getting friends and family to sponsor them to fast from food for 30 hours (in some countries the fasting time varies). The money raised supports World Vision hunger projects around the world.
Margot says her children feel a sense of accomplishment because they know that by fasting, they are helping to meet real needs of other children worldwide. Her children are amazed at how much they’ve raised so far, and although helping others is their primary reason for being involved, the gift card rewards (for participants) that World Vision Canada Youth offers motivates them to set goals beyond what they would’ve thought possible. In addition to the feel-good aspect, they also get a chance to get to know like-minded youth interested in fighting poverty and injustice.
Margot’s 19-year-old son, Jeff, has done the Famine. He originally took part to bring attention to the world issue of people starving in other countries. And though it would only be for a single day, Jeff felt the experience would be valuable. “I wanted to see what it was like to put myself in the shoes of those who go without food on a regular basis,” he says. “I wanted to be able to empathize with those in Third World countries.”
“The Famine is such a practical way of giving kids power to change the world,” says Margot, adding that because her children partnered with World Vision, their participation at home helped projects that touch many lives throughout the world. However, she does note one potential post-30 Hour Famine side effect: one of her children is now interested in pursuing a career in international relations because doing the Famine has gone so well.
Jeff’s advice for people considering taking part in the 30 Hour Famine is more to the point: “[It’s] something that you have to experience and not just hear about.” To learn more, visit 30 Hour Famine website >>
________This article was published on February 27, 2014.