Hadlow Preparatory School Year 8 pupils Caleb Roberts, Sebe Clive-Griffin, Sophia Hallett and Ruby Matthews are taking part in this year’s World Vision 40 Hour Famine. PHOTO/ELI HILL

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz

Wairarapa pupils will experience what it would be like to live as a refugee as they attempt to raise money to provide life-saving aid for South Sudanese.

After hearing the story of a girl from South Sudan who’d become a refugee after soldiers attacked her school, Hadlow Preparatory School head girl Ruby Matthews decided to take part in the World Vision 40 Hour Famine which started last night at 8pm.

“It’s just not realising how lucky we are sometimes, so in doing this maybe people will realise how we can help them.

“That girl didn’t know where her parents were, and now lives in Uganda with her 16-year-old brother who can’t go to school because he has to look after them.”

Pupils will give something up as part of the 40 Hour Famine – whether it be food, warm blankets, speaking or technology.

Head boy Sebe Clive-Griffin was attempting the backpack challenge this weekend. He has to pack all the food, clothes, and shelter he needs for the weekend into a backpack.

“It’s being responsive to what refugees have.

“Others are going without technology for 40 hours or only eating a few foods such as rice.”

Head of chapel Sophia Hallett who will take the backpack challenge while also limiting her foods said the school had raised around $1500 last year, but pupils were determined to beat that this year.

“This year $2000, and that might seem like a lot, but it’s actually only $10 per student.

“To encourage more people to do it we also have a school competition between the hubs to see which can get the most.”

A spokesperson for World Vision said Hadlow, Solway College, St Matthew’s Collegiate and Wairarapa College have signed up for the famine.

Pupils from other schools had also signed up individually.

Wairarapa College held a variety show in May, featuring 18 acts from Wairarapa, Solway and Rathkeale colleges which raised $881.50 for the famine.

Teacher Fleur Hardman said that the school had also handed out more than 100 registration packs for the event. It was aiming to raise $10,000, around double what was achieved last year.

All up, approximately 90,000 New Zealand young people are expected to take part and raise vital funds for the more than 800,000 South Sudanese who have fled conflict with hope of finding refuge in Uganda.