Those little drops of plastic wrapped barley sugar did nothing to quench our roaring teenage appetite, but at least the innocent belief we were doing our bit to save the world took the edge off nearly two days of hunger.
This year the 40 Hour Famine turns 40.
I have seen firsthand how World Vision is changing the world – one person, one family, one community at a time.
I now know the difference a well of water can make, a trained and hygienic midwife, a school with paper and pens, even a few simple blankets.
I have seen World Vision’s work in Mongolia, Banda Aceh, Armenia and the Syrian borders with both Jordan and Lebanon.
I have met families forced to choose between firewood and food in the depths of winter, women who have lost babies because the birthing attendant didn’t know to wash her hands, little girls who won’t go to school because their parents could only afford to send their son, families who have fled a war zone with nothing but what they were wearing and young women married off at 14 for their own safety. These are the stories that stay with me from my work with World Vision.
Every time I return home I am overwhelmed.
I stop to recognise that I can switch on a light or a heater, that both of my children can walk safely to school for a first class education, that a GP is only a phone call away, we have a fridge full of fresh healthy food and that I can turn on the tap and drink the water.
I have seen what can happen when enough people sponsor children in Chencha, a tiny remote village in Ethiopia.
So many of us associate Ethiopia with famine – we saw horrific TV stories in the 70s & 80s. These shocking images encouraged me and millions of others to take action and do their bit to help.