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Fasting to make a difference

Hour 26: 108 Yoga instruction donated a free class (Photo by Sarah Lawrynuik)
Hour 26: 108 Yoga instruction donated a free class (Photo by Sarah Lawrynuik)

Dalhousie’s World Vision Society proved that 30 hours can make a difference on the Nov. 15 weekend.

A small group of students, led by the society’s president Karley Hewitt, came together to stop eating and raise money— taking part in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine. They met in the Student Union Building to tie-dye shirts, play cards, do some yoga; anything to get their mind off of their grumbling stomachs.

They began their fast at noon on Friday and continued until 6:00 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s just to get your mind off not eating for thirty hours. It’s good to meet a lot of great people too because we’ve had a lot of new people who haven’t been involved with the society before,” says Vanessa Miller, the World Vision Society’s VP external.

The group had planned on raising funds for World Vision’s economic empowerment project in Gashora, Rwanda but after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines earlier this month, some participants asked if their money could go towards the organization’s disaster relief fund.

The club raised over $1,000, and now that money will be divided between the two projects.

Hewitt says the choice to send some of the funds to Rwanda is a personal one. “I went to Rwanda with World Vision in 2012 as a youth ambassador. So I saw where the funds go and I know it truly does impact the people there.”

It was Paula Lagman who suggested some of the money go towards disaster relief in the Philippines as well.

“I felt like I should do something for it since I’m from the Philippines… And I can’t really do anything from here; just donate money to help them,” she says. “It feels so nice to know that there’s going to be help that’s given to the people of the Philippines.”

The group remained positive Saturday afternoon with four hours left in their fast. They expressed as a group that they knew they would never understand what it would be like to go to bed hungry every night, but that the experience was humbling all the same.

Miller talked about why the fast was important to her. “It’s easy, but it still makes a big impact. We’re very well off where we are. We’re going to university, we’re studying, we’re spending thousands of dollars on our education. It’s mind boggling that for us, [food is] just something we don’t even think about, but other people, it changes their daily lives.”


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