ABOUT 14,000 young Malaysians gathered in Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam for the last leg of their World Vision 30-hour fast to raise funds for communities living in poverty and hunger.
World Vision is an international humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children and families to overcome extreme poverty and injustice.
Set up in 1997 as a Support Office with the partnership of World Vision International, World Vision Malaysia hosted the Malaysia 30-Hour Famine 2016.
More than 30,000 participants spread across 198 sites (called camps) took part in this event across Malaysia, learning about poverty and hunger, as well as raising about RM2.3mil from family and friends.
The two different types of camps were the 146 30-hour Famine DIY camp, and 52 nine-hour Kidz Famine DIY Camp, made in a format suitable for children.
The participants who attended the last leg were treated to performances by both Malaysian and international artistes, as well as interactive games and learning sessions.
Malaysian-born singer-songwriter Gary Chaw, ambassador for this year’s 30-Hour Famine, took to the stage to perform a number of songs as the main event.
He made it a point to mention how much of a difference the young participants had made.
“They have inspired a lot of people around the world, so I think this project is incredible to get so many young people together to do one thing. It is very powerful,” said Chaw
Many other performers shared the stage with Chaw, including Francissca Peter, Yisa, Elvin Chong, Athena, Bell, Bobby Lee, Daniel Lee, Fuying & Sam, Dickson Chai, Juztin, Danny One, Danny Boy, Jieying, Melody Chen, Nicole Lai, Peace Teo, StarPark, Colour of Voices and Zen, sand artist Loong Bee, dance crew HyperActive and Lee Wushu Arts theatre.
Personalities who made appearances were model and presenter Deborah Henry, celebrity emcee William Lee; Xiao Yu, Chrystina and Gary Yap from 8tv and Jeffrey, Jan Chin, Fabian Loo, Pauline Tan, Chan Ee Kiat, and Tan Ley Teng from ntv7.
Funds received through the 30-Hour Famine will be channelled to holistic programmes in Malaysia, China, India, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam, Mongolia and Thailand, improving the health, safety and well-being of children and families in need.
Local beneficiaries are the Dignity for Children Foundation, Yayasan Sin Chew’s WeCare, Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled, Fugee School, as well as World Vision’s Education, Health, Child Protection and Economic Development, and Leadership Training Programmes in Sabah.
In order to aid the communities in need to become sustainable, World Vision takes a holistic and long-term approach when planning development, including developing health care services and making healthcare facilities accessible to families and children in need, establishing child protection systems in schools and communities so children are safe and protected from harm, building quality Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) services in communities so children get a firm foundation in education, supporting community development programmes for vulnerable communities, as well as education and assistance for people living with disabilities, and helping vulnerable families grow their income through education in business knowledge and skills training.
World Vision Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk K.J. Abraham remarked on how much the participants had contributed to building sustainable communities.
“For the communities we are working with, eventually we want all of them to be sustainable.
“The input all the participants are putting in now is a step by step process to bring them to stand on their own feet, and we have seen some marvellous work out there,” said Abraham.
Members of the public who wish to donate towards the event can do so online via World Vision Malaysia’s 30-Hour Famine website: http://30hourfamine.my
Corporate partners for the 30-Hour Famine 2016 were event-founding partner Sin Chew Daily, principal sponsor HELP University and major sponsor V-Soy. Other sponsors included Empire Hotel, Seiko, MyElephant, Love Earth, OPPO and Mighty White.