40-hour famine to aid the poor

By Christina Gallagher

Charitable South Africans are giving up food and cellphones this weekend to raise funds for over

46 000 poverty-stricken children in the country.

The annual World Vision 40-hour Famine started on Friday night at 8pm and will continue until Sunday noon.

People across the globe have pledged to give up food or technology for the period and have asked others to sponsor their efforts.

Those participating in the campaign go without food for 40 hours, but are allowed to drink beverages. But if this is too difficult, people can alternatively give up using technology such as their computers and cellphones.

Pop singer Danny K joined the cause for the first time this year and vowed to give up junk food for three days.

"I have five shows this weekend, so I won't be able to give up technology or food, but I am trying to do whatever I can," he said. "Not everyone can do the 40-hour fast and only drink water, but there are a few very special people out there who do."

Other celebrities who support the campaign include former Springbok Joel Stransky, Lee and Pabi Maloi from Y-FM, Slikour from Skwatta Kamp, HHP, Morafe and Desmond Tutu.

But it's not just celebrities who've pledged their support: for the first time this year, students from less privileged areas also registered to participate.

The 40-hour famine started in 1975 in response to the famine in Ethiopia. Locally, World Vision will use the money raised to support more than 46 000 children in South Africa currently benefiting from the organisation's feeding scheme.

A recent Children's Institute report found that as many as 10 million South African children were living under the poverty line.

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