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May 8, 2012 > Irvington High takes 'Action Against Hunger'

Irvington High takes 'Action Against Hunger'

By Maya Litvak

Starvation and malnutrition take the lives of 15,000 children every day. Sixty-eight percent of people live below the poverty line in the world. Contrary to popular belief, hunger is not limited to third-world countries; it exists even in the United States. Action Against Hunger is an internationally recognized organization that is dedicated to aiding those who suffer from starvation. The organization raises money by engaging community members and accepts donations for this important cause.

Irvington High School (IHS) in Fremont is known as the home of unique benchmark projects that seek to educate soon-to-be adults about issues that plague the world, as well as what they can do to help. As stated by Ryunosuke Satoro, a famous Japanese poet, "Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean."

This idea reflects the IHS stance towards the benchmark projects, especially the World Issues Project. This project requires sophomores (10th graders) to form groups, which are then assigned a country. These groups must learn about the country including its political situation, living conditions, as well as issues people face in that county and how they aim to resolve them. Issues can range from misdistribution of wealth to human trafficking. Students learn to think about the world at large and how they can contribute to solving global problems. Then they take the skills they have learned and apply them to help their local community as well as spread awareness about their country of focus.

This year, Irvington has changed its game. Rather than have the groups work on many different, smaller projects, the entire sophomore class is working together to contribute to the Action Against Hunger effort. This way, an exigent problem is given a prodigious amount of attention. In 2011 alone, Action Against Hunger assisted 850,000 people across the Horn of Africa, saved 51,000 lives in the Democratic Republic (D.R.) of the Congo, provided 3.5 million people with access to safe water and sanitation, and helped 2.3 million people achieve self-sufficiency.

To support this organization, on Saturday, May 5, Irvington sophomores participated in a Race Against Hunger at the Waterpark at Lake Elizabeth/Central Park. This event engaged students across the globe in a walking and/or jogging race in order to work toward a solution to the mass hunger problem.

Every class kept track of the amount of money it raised for the cause by creating a progress-tracking poster. Students were encouraged to educate members in their community about the issue of global hunger while seeking sponsors to support the race and donate to the cause.

Every year, Action Against Hunger selects one specific country to receive the profits of its efforts. The focus of the Race Against Hunger at Fremont's own Lake Elizabeth this year is Zimbabwe. The organization plans to use the profits to purchase a food supply for starving families and children that they sponsor. This food supply will consist of malnutrition bars to prepare the peoples' malnourished bodies to digest the kind of food we eat regularly. Water wells will also be built in locations that currently only provide contaminated water. The goal of Irvington students was to raise $20,000 for the cause.

In 2011, nearly 17,000 students from 70 schools across the United States enrolled in the Race Against Hunger. Spanning 19 states, the 2011 Race was a truly national campaign! As Irvington sophomore Flowery Pau expresses, "I think it's good for our school and our community to be involved in the Action Against Hunger walk because we can get others to know that there are people around the world who are starving while we sit on our couch."

Join Irvington's sophomores and show your support in any way that you can. Action Against Hunger drastically changes the lives of many underprivileged and malnourished people every year, one race at a time.

If you have any inquiries about the Race or the Action Against Hunger organization, please contact Mr. Scott Lewis at slewis@fremont.k12.ca.us, or visit the Action Against Hunger website: http://www.actionagainsthunger.org

The community is invited to support the walkathon. Donations are welcome, payable to Action Against Hunger.
Email: slewis@fremont.k12.ca.us
Website: http://www.actionagainsthunger.org


Editor's Note: Maya Litvak is a junior at Irvington High School in Fremont.

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