WHEN four students decided to take part in the World Vision 30-Hour Famine to raise funds for children living in poverty, little did they dream that their act of kindness would be rewarded.
HELP University, a principal sponsor of the event, awarded each of them with a 30-Hour Famine scholarship that covers their university programme.
Leong Yu received a scholarship for her Bachelor of Psychology degree, Ong Kar Yan and Siow Li Teng’s scholarships cover their A-Levels Programme and Jasmine Goh’s scholarship is for the UK Law Degree Transfer Programme.
Leong and Goh are currently students at HELP University.
Leong, who has supported the 30-Hour Famine since 2009, said, “When I first started participating in the event back in my hometown of Ipoh, I never thought that I would be rewarded for it.
“It was just my way of paying it forward and helping others.
“I am so glad that HELP University together with World Vision have given me this scholarship.
“It is a great encouragement to me and will spur me to achieve my ambition of becoming a psychologist so that I can help people rebuild their lives and reach their full potential,” Leong added.
Goh was also grateful for the scholarship, adding that her dream of becoming a UK barrister was an expensive one.
“I want to work hard and become successful so that I can contribute even more to charities when I start my life as a barrister,” she said.
HELP University deputy vice chancellor Dr. Khong Kim Hoong said, “We have always recognised that education is more than just a paper chase.
“For this reason, we strongly encourage our students to be involved in activities that will broaden their vista and understanding of various socio-economic issues.”
Leong spoke of the impact the 30-Hour Famine has had on him over the years.
“The event helps you to see lives of children in other countries and understand first-hand a little of what they go through – feeling hungry, not being able to go to school and being exploited.
“Through the event, I understood that my small effort can change a child’s life,” Leong said.
Goh agreed, “It’s all about awareness. I think people know of hunger and poverty but they lack the awareness that they need to get involved to help those battling these issues.
“I don’t waste food anymore because I know how important it is, I encourage my family to visit old folks’ homes, to do good things for people in need.
“I want to tell Malaysians to just contribute, because little by little all our contributions become something great.”
The World Vision 30-Hour Famine is an annual fundraising cum advocacy event aimed at raising awareness on the impact of poverty and hunger on marginalised communities particularly on children within communities.
Participants fast from solid food or give up something they love for 30 hours straight to raise funds for poverty-alleviation programmes such as the First 1,000 Days project providing essential maternal care for mothers and their children in Vietnam, Health And Nutrition Projects improving access to nutritious food and health services in India, Myanmar and Vietnam, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Projects for better access to clean water, good hygiene and sanitation practices and facilities in Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and South Africa.
Besides health and sanitation, funds will also be used for education programmes for youth community advancement in Cambodia, child protection initiatives to prevent child injuries and child risk in China and Thailand, Building Task Force Capacity to ensure quality work in Vietnam and encouraging Financial Development through training in Cambodia and Mongolia.
This year, the official Famine Weekend will be on August 1 and 2, with the Famine Countdown being held on August 2 at Petaling Jaya Stadium, Selangor. World Vision Malaysia is expecting participation from over 35,000 Malaysians and hopes to raise RM2.4mil for the hungry.