Contrary to popular belief, congressional leaders are only part of the key influence in making poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy. Even though the 535 members of Congress in Washington D.C. representing voters are directly responsible for supporting or rejecting an issue or bill based on the voters’ opinions, all citizens are just as important in this process. Not only can they make their opinions known to the three members of Congress who represent them, but everyone, regardless of age, can make a difference by raising awareness in their community of a specific issue in order to bring about change.
This is exactly what a group of seven teenagers proved when they fasted for 30 hours to raise money that would benefit the fight against world poverty. These members of the Allin Church Youth Group in Dedham, Mass. participated in the World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine from 12 p.m. on April 26 to 6 p.m. on April 27. It was during those 30 hours that these teenagers not only fasted, but also learned more about world hunger as they felt the hunger that millions experience every day.
Participating members of the Dedham community donated at least $1 to this youth group for every hour that they fasted, and all contributions were used to benefit the lives of children in the Philippines in association with World Vision. World Vision is a Christian organization working in nearly 100 countries to address the issues of poverty and injustice. According to 30 Hour Famine, hundreds of thousands of people participate in this event every year in the U.S. alone, and thousands more across the globe do the same to help feed poor children and their families in developing countries.
World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine provides people with the opportunity to understand the hunger that millions experience every day of their lives. According to World Vision, 870 million people are hungry worldwide, revealing that this injustice needs to be resolved. But the 30 Hour Famine is not the only thing World Vision does to address this issue. This organization also provides individuals the opportunity to sponsor a child to not only fight poverty, but to create a better world for that child.
This experience for the Allin Church Youth Group did not end after the 30 hours were up. These seven teenagers, along with the entire Allin Congregational Church, will have the opportunity to travel to the Philippines and personally assist the children there who benefited from their 30-hour fast. This inspirational group of teenagers proves that anyone, regardless of age or political standing, can join in the fight against poverty and hunger.
— Meghan Orner