LCS Students participate in 30 Hour Famine
Josh Bajema (blue) and Cody Raimbault (green) square off in a sumo wrestling match in the final hours of Lacombe Christian School's 30-hour famine. The 30-hour famine wrapped up on Friday evening with students staying late after school to partake in a variety of games and activities. They were then served a light meal at 7 p.m. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
Some of Lacombe’s youth got a small taste of what going hungry felt like in effort to help those in countries where going hungry is part of life.
A total of 65 students from Lacombe Christian School (LCS) took part in the annual 30 Hour Famine through World Vision last week, learning about hunger while raising money to support those in developing countries suffering from starvation.
According to the World Vision 30 Hour Famine website, LCS ranked among the top fundraising teams in the country. The last update before the wrap-up on Friday had the school at $6,100 raised.
“This year we set a goal of $10,000. I think we’re going to get close to it or surpass it,” said Michele Noort, a grade nine teacher at the school and one of the event organizers. “In the past, we’ve raised upwards of $15-16,000, but we’re a bit of a smaller junior high this year and it’s tougher times, too.”
She says it isn’t easy for students to grasp just how difficult the plight of children living in poverty is, but the 30 Hour Famine helps give them an idea of how fortunate they are.
“It’s hard. Even this experience is difficult for them to truly get an understanding of what it’s like to go hungry, because they were starving after an hour,” Noort said.
“They get a good sense of how blessed they are, how often they can go to the kitchen cupboard and grab something to eat without thinking about it...They know God has blessed them and this is their way of repaying that and helping those that aren’t as blessed as much as they are.”
Alena Siebenga, one of the students participating, says she had no idea how difficult the fasting for 30 hours would be.
“It’s really hard. I never knew what it felt like before, but I didn’t know it would be this hard,” she said. Other students said they caught themselves going for a snack on the first night, remembering they were in the middle of a fast.
The hardest stretch, however, was the last few hours.
“You start running out of things to drink,” said Siebenga. Torey Tenbrinke agreed.
“When you do activities and you’re so hungry, you keep burning yourself off, but there’s nothing left to burn off.”
The famine was wrapped up with a bit of an after-party, where students could play board games, sports, dance, try their hand at sumo wrestling and more before they finally broke the fast with a light meal at 7 p.m.
The 30-hour famine originally began in Feb. 1971 when 17-year-old Ruth Roberts and 14 friends had what they called a “starve-in” in a Calgary church basement. Designed to draw attention to the obstacles and challenges children in Africa were experiencing during a continent-wide famine, they raised $600 for World Vision.
The event caught on, and by the early 1980’s had become an international fundraiser, and one of the largest youth fundraisers in the world. Now, thousands of youth in 15 countries participate annually.