A dozen North Island Secondary School students helped raised awareness for world hunger during a 30 Hour Famine held at NISS last weekend.
The Famine was organized by grade 12 students Cassidy Bettis and Maia Rardon as a project for their Social Justice 12 class. Approximately a dozen students assembled in the school drama room after school and stayed overnight without food.
“It’s to raise awareness about what some people are going through,” said Bettis. “Kids get to see what it’s like to go thirty hours without food.” Bettis added they didn’t want participants going door-to-door and collecting pledges; instead they asked each student to donate $10. All proceeds will go to World Vision, the organization responsible for the the 30 Hour Famine.
Students brought blankets and sleeping bags and gathered for a movie and music. In the morning, they celebrated with a big breakfast.
The Famine took place under the supervision of Social Justice teacher, Nimfa Casson.
“It’s about experiencing, in a roundabout way, what others have to face everyday,” said Casson.
Social Justice 12 is a class designed to raise students’ awareness about injustice in the world. Instead of a final exam, Casson marks students on their participation in a special assignment.
“They each take on a project, something they really care about,” she said. Some of the other projects included a food drive, a toy drive, and an “Adopt a Culture” project, where teachers in the school each “adopted” a different culture and decorated the classrooms to reflect them.
“They took the initiative,” she said of the famine’s two student organizers, expressing that she had little to do with the planning of the famine.
The famine, which was originally supposed to take place in April, was delayed by a number of complications.
“It’s difficult to get around the teacher’s strike,” said Casson, referring to the B.C. Teachers’ Federation’s ongoing job action. “But this was something that factored in their final marks, so it’s not extra-curricular.”
Though there were few attendees, Casson still felt the event was a success.
“It’s small,” she said, looking at the group of students gathered underneath blankets and inside sleeping bags. “But it’s that gesture that counts.
“There are lots of younger kids here. We hope they will carry on the message.”
For more information about World Vision and the 30 Hour Famine, visit www.30hourfamine.org.