Hun­gry, tired but worth the ef­fort

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Lisa Sloan

Alex Cooper has found a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for her mum’s cook­ing and a com­fort­able bed to sleep in.

“I have dis­cov­ered time is rel­a­tive and food is a ne­ces­sity,” she says.

The Mt Al­bert Gram­mar School stu­dent was one of 29 pre­fects who spent 40 hours sleep­ing out­side in a card­board box last week­end.

They had no meals, no tech­nol­ogy and only card­board, tape and tar­pau­lins to keep them shel­tered from the rain.

The demon­stra­tion was in sup­port of the World Vi­sion 40 hour famine, which runs this week­end.

Through­out the week pre­fects are run­ning con­certs and assem­blies to help raise stu­dent aware­ness of the is­sues be­hind the famine.

All pro­ceeds will go to­ward the res­cue ef­fort in Myan­mar.

Alex says it is im­por­tant for stu­dents to step out­side their com­fort zone.

“Some stu­dents found what we did a bit strange, some said good on you, but ei­ther way it raised their cu­rios­ity,” she says.

“It’s im­por­tant not to be so ma­te­ri­al­is­tic and think about what things are like be­yond New Zealand.”

Stu­dents who took part in the demon­stra­tion spent from 7pm on Satur­day to 11am on Mon­day morn­ing in the school grounds.

They had warm cloth­ing, bar­ley sug­ars and Just Juice to keep them go­ing but were al­lowed no other food or com­forts at all.

In be­tween sleep­ing in makeshift card­board homes, they played board games, talked and re­flected on the sit­u­a­tion.

Pre­fect Gemma Gib­bons says even though they did not have food or shel­ter, the stu­dents were still com­fort­able.

“What we had in this sit­u­a­tion is so much more than oth­ers might have in a dis­as­ter,” she says.

“We take for granted hav­ing a bed, food and a shower wait­ing when we get home.”

When the 40 hours was up, the group met at Burger King for a much needed lunch.

“We are tired, cold and hun­gry but we feel good we have done it,” says Alex.

“One of the boys said even his mum’s worst meals sound like the best thing ever right now.”

Prin­ci­pal Dale Bur­den was im­pressed with the group’s ef­forts.

“Th­ese are out­stand­ing young peo­ple who have re­ally taken on board school val­ues of the im­por­tance of ser­vice and sac­ri­fice,” he says.

“Th­ese are the sorts of ac­tiv­i­ties our stu­dents are en­cour­aged to take part in and we hope this will be­come a tra­di­tion.”

The 40-hour famine runs from May 23 to 25.

Peo­ple from around the coun­try will give up food, tech­nol­ogy and other lux­u­ries to raise money for Third World coun­tries and those af­fected by dis­as­ter.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.famine.org. nz or phone 0800 FAMINE (326-463).

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Go­ing with­out: From left: Gemma Gib­bons, Alex Cooper and Rachael Chap­pell and other Mt Al­bert Gram­mar School pre­fects went with­out food or shel­ter for 40 hours to raise money for World Vi­sion.

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