Famine events

Famine events are localized events of voluntary fasting for 30 or 40 hours depending on the region to raise money and awareness for world hunger. These events are usually coordinated by one of various World Vision organizations and are done by youth in church organizations. They have spread internationally, 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. The 30 Hour Famine is the most popular amongst all, spreading across 21 countries.[a]

30 Hour FamineEdit

The 30 Hour Famine is a World Vision event in 21 countries. It started in 1971 when 17-year-old Ruth Roberts and 14 friends in Calgary, Alberta staged an event in a church basement to see what it was like to be hungry and raise money and awareness for children suffering during a famine. The funds raised went to World Vision.[1][2]

David L. Wylie, a nondenominational youth leader, jump-started the movement in the United States about seventeen years ago as a youth director of Millen Baptist Church in South Georgia. He was looking for a way to stimulate the interest of his 25-member youth group in world hunger issues when he heard the idea of a voluntary hunger strike from World Vision. His group raised $3,000 that year, $5,000 the next and was featured on CNN Headline News and Wylie was nominated by Congressman Lindsey Thomas for a Presidential Point of Light Award.[3] Wylie was also recognized by the Georgia House of Representatives, the Georgia Senate, and numerous Georgia governors for his efforts to get youth involved in hunger causes by using the 30-Hour Famine program.

Thousands of teenagers across the U.S.,[4] Canada, and several other countries (including Hong Kong, Taiwan,[5] Malaysia, UK, Singapore and Australia and New Zealand) participate to raise money and then fast for 30 hours.[6] However, individuals can raise money and fast by themselves.

During the event, for 30 hours, participants must abstain from eating food, and instead they typically drink water, fruit juices, or other liquids[7] Games, fundraisers, and other events may also take place to help teach and educate the participants and others about world hunger all over the world. It is also a time for education and awareness of world hunger, and an understanding of how people go without food for long periods of time.[8] This, however, does not exclude those unable to fast.[9]

40 Hour Famine - AustraliaEdit

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Previous logo

The 40 Hour Famine is an annual charitable event held by World Vision Australia. The event aims for young Australians to feel empathy for the lack of food which children in third world countries struggle with and to raise money to help children in these countries. It was started in 1975 in response to the famine in Ethiopia.[10]

Participants must first raise money through sponsorship from other people. Participants must then abstain from a particular group of items or do/not do something for 40 hours. Some of the famines include not eating food, not using first world technology such as television, refraining from talking, and not using furniture. Some participants create their own famines, such as living in a cardboard box or being blindfolded. The event officially runs from 8 pm on Friday to noon on Sunday, usually over a weekend in August. Participants may choose another time to fast if the official famine dates do not suit them.

Children who attend primary school (usually between the ages of 4 - 12) are encouraged to participate in the 8-hour famine for safety reasons, instead of the usual 40-hour famine.

40 Hour Famine - New ZealandEdit

The 40 Hour Famine, New Zealand's largest youth fundraiser, is an annual World Vision New Zealand campaign aimed at providing New Zealanders with a unique experience, as a catalyst for fundraising.

The 40 Hour Famine was launched in 1975 by World Vision. This first 40 Hour Famine, on 15–17 August 1975, had 10,000 participants and raised NZ$265,000.

Since then, the 40 Hour Famine has continued to grow, raising over $2.5 million through 118,000 participants. The 40 Hour Famine, in many New Zealand schools and communities, has become an annual tradition.

24 Hour FamineEdit

24 Hour Famine is also an annual charity event held by World Vision UK which started in 1986.[citation needed] The aim is to raise awareness and money for people stricken by famine around the world. Participants can choose to go without food for the duration, or other activities such as computer games or talking. In 2008, the official Cause was the 'nowhere children' in Chennai.[citation needed] Age restrictions apply: 0–13 years are only allowed to fast for 20 hours whilst 14+ years can fast for up to 40 hours.[citation needed]


^ a: World Vision does not address the global famine events in one general term, but rather address them in regionally specific names. The 30 Hour Famine is the most popular and earliest event amongst all. Its popularity is especially high in East Asia countries and North America. The 40 Hour Famine is dedicated to Australia and New Zealand only, while the 24 Hour Famine is solely dedicated to the United Kingdom.


  1. ^ World Vision Canada Archived 2 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine "The first 30 Hour Famine took place in Calgary, Alberta, 36 years ago, when a group of youths refused to sit back and do nothing about the famine..."
  2. ^ "Langley Advance". Archived from the original on 12 July 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  3. ^ Welcome to stacks.ajc.com
  4. ^ Burlington County Times[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Taipei Times
  6. ^ Welcome to 30 Hour Famine
  7. ^ Standard Newswire "Energized with compassion rather than food during their fast, 30 HF groups ... consume only water and fruit juices"
  8. ^ The Washington Post "But education about global poverty was the main focus of the long day. The students watched DVDs about poverty issues. And Harrington showed off a banner on which the students had pressed 30,000 fingerprints in red paint, designed to help them better understand the magnitude of the problem."
  9. ^ World Vision Canada FAQs Archived 20 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine "Q. I am physically unable to fast. Can I still do the Famine?"
  10. ^ 40-hour famine to aid the poor paragraph 4

External linksEdit

30 Hour FamineEdit

40 Hour FamineEdit

24 Hour FamineEdit