Springvalley Middle School students have volunteered to experience first-hand what it’s like to live in poverty in a poor country.
Some 200 students will participate in what has become an annual fundraiser for the school, the World Vision 30-Hour Famine project.
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization, dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.
The fact Springvalley has raised $30,000 for World Vision from the previous two fundraisers has also caught the attention of the charity.
So this year, the charitable agency has arranged for the band The Latency to give a free concert for Springvalley students and other local schools which participate in the fundraiser.
The concert will take place at Willow Park Church tonight at 7:30 p.m., with students from Rutland Senior Secondary, Kelowna Senior Secondary, George Elliott, Kelowna Christian and Springvalley to be in attendance.
Al Hopgood, the student support services teacher at Springvalley school, said the famine participation for the Grade 7, 8 and 9 students started Thursday evening, continues today and wraps up Saturday morning.
During that time, the students are allowed to drink water and will get a bowl of rice to eat this evening.
After the concert, the students return to their schools to participate in various activities until it’s time to go to sleep in the gym.
The famine will wrap up Saturday morning with a pancake breakfast, provided by the principal and teaching staff.
Hopgood said the fundraiser offers a unique opportunity for students to better appreciate what it means to not have enough food to eat.
“The students also feel a sense of accomplishment at having gone through it when it’s all over,” Hopgood said.
And they’ve helped raise money from pledges to assist families in other countries living in poverty.
Springvalley did its first famine fundraiser in 2009—with the initial goal of raising $2,000.
But with the responsive passion and excitement from the students, the school raised over $12,000. Last year, it was $20,000.
World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine is the largest youth fundraiser to fight poverty and hunger.
The goal is to raise public awareness of global hunger, poverty and injustice, and to raise money to address these issues.
In 2010, more than 500,000 teenagers around the world raised more than $30 million.
Visit www.famine.ca for information on how you can take part in and support the World Vision 30 Hour Famine.