Famine Funds at Work: School Meals in Burundi


You fast for 30 hours, bond with your group and fundraise like crazy…then what? Where does all the money go? Who actually benefits from my efforts? These were all questions I was asking myself after participating in the 2011 30 Hour Famine. Fortunately I was chosen to go on this year’s Study Tour and was therefore able to answer these questions firsthand! Allow me to tell you about one particular project in the heart of Africa that directly benefits from the funds you raise.

Just three months ago I was in central Africa (Burundi) on the 2011 Study Tour. When I think of Burundi I think of its beauty. There are rolling green hills, coffee and tea farms and tall trees. But even more than that, I think of the beautiful, resilient people. Everywhere we went Burundians were welcoming and warm; despite the fact we complete strangers to them. While in Burundi, our group visited several World Vision project sites that benefit from the 30 Hour Famine.   

One of the projects was a school in Bwasare, Burundi which holds nearly 500 students in its six classrooms. There is also a School Meals Project, allowing staff to serve students a hot and healthy rice lunch every day. The school collects rainwater to use for cooking and over the course of 10 days, they prepare a whopping 5,000 meals, providing food many students would not have otherwise. Imagine studying all day without a lunch. That is what these students experienced before the School Meals Program was created. Providing lunch for students allows them to dive into school with the energy they need.  

The School Meals Program in Burundi is just one example of how important fundraising is. Some 30 Hour Famine groups fast and experience hunger but never fundraise, or they forget to send their money in. As important as it is to open our eyes to poverty and experience hunger firsthand through the 30 Hour Famine, it is equally important to raise funds in order to combat hunger longterm. It is the fundraising of groups like yours that allow projects such as the School Meals Program to exist and impact the lives of children around the world.

Ellie Hutchison was one of nine students that traveled to Burundi in August of 2011 with the 30 Hour Famine. This fall Ellie is interning at World Vision with the 30 Hour Famine team before heading to Australia in January where she will begin her experience with ‘Youth with a Mission’ (YWAM).