Welcome to Dzikunze: A hungerfree world starts here

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Kilifi is a resort town in Kenya. Beaches and hotels are the claim to fame, and tourism is the backbone of its economy. If you were to visit the resort town, you might stay at the Mnarani Club resort, where you can enjoy the amenities of the on-site spa or explore the ocean on a scuba tour.

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But an hour’s drive outside of Kilifi lies Dzikunze, a small village where the hard Kenyan rains can cause the walls of the mud houses to start coming apart in chunks.

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During the weeks leading up to the 30 Hour Famine, we’ve been following Nelly, a 10-year-old Kenyan girl. Her story is not that different from children all over the world, whose families cannot thrive in their current environment. Dzikunze is where she calls home.

Like many rural towns in Kenya, Dzikunze is a collection of families who live in houses made out of mud packed into a skeleton of branches. Because they are made with earth, the homes blend in with the red clay surrounding them. But clay is not all there is to see.

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Coconut trees, corn, kale, and other crops stand out starkly against the red. These are the sustainability and livelihood of many of the people who live here. There are less trees than in years past; many people cut them down for firewood during the drought.

If you were to visit Dzikunze, you would have to make the drive down a red road cutting through thick forest, passing under gates designed to keep out elephants. And instead of signing up for a scuba tour, you might help the family make dinner in a small corner of the house. Corn is stored on a shelf above to dry, and smoke accumulates easily. You’d need to wipe your eyes often.

The bleating of the community goats, which are all penned together, mingles with the laughter of children playing soccer. They’ve made themselves out of cloth and string.

This is Dzikunze village.

Through 30 Hour Famine, we’ll be helping Dzikunze and other towns like it live hungerfree. Right now, the people of Dzikunze struggle to feed their families every day. Memories of green crops are sweeter than the seemingly sparse future.

But together, what’s ahead can be greater than days past. Because a better world is possible, and we believe this is our future to create.

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Nelly Video Series

Check out the Nelly video series for your 30 Hour Famine event! The following video series follows a young girl named Nelly from Kilifi, Kenya. We will be releasing new videos each week, so check back every Monday to find more.

Want to experience & visit Kenya? Join the World Vision Leadership trip this summer! Register below.

Kenya Leadership Trip

Nelly #3 – Becoming HungerFree

Nelly #2 – A Day In The Life Of

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If You Had To Live From A Backpack, What Would You Bring?

If you had to live out of a backpack, what would you bring? I’ve had to ask myself that question quite a few times in my wandering life. Recently, I found myself asking it again, as I sifted through photos and stories of Syrian refugees and the few belongings they carried from home.

A carrier of memories

I am a little obsessed with my backpack. It’s one of those early generation Mountain Equipment Co-op Pika packs, the kind every college girl had about five years ago. Everyone else seems to have moved on to the uber-cool Herschel or the tried-and-true Jansport, but not me. I’m still rocking my cobalt blue, threadbare MEC pack.

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Whether trekking overseas or walking to work, I’m rarely without my backpack.

There’s a reason I’m holding on to it, though. We’ve been through a lot together. I bought my backpack six months after I finished university. I was about to move back to Senegal to live with my family. Soon after that, it came with me to my very first job as a writer at a news organization in Tunisia. I can still remember packing it with my Moleskine notebook, my favourite pens and a very loud whistle in case I should run into trouble.

Read more…

The Only Thing That’s Missing Is You

Mother Teresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Two weeks ago I saw firsthand the effects of many young and passionate youth coming together to cast stones for a better world.

World Vision hosted a Justice Lab in Edmonton, and for the first time I saw the power of community. Having twenty-five passionate young leaders in the same room created an atmosphere of action and change. We addressed global issues such as education, child protection, water and hunger. However the room really came alive when we started talking about global hunger. Suddenly we were all bouncing ideas off of each other of what we could do in our communities to start making a difference. Our advocacy immediately turned into action. Ideas of contacting local grocery stores to harvest the food they don’t use and starting food trucks where proceeds would go to where extreme hunger is present in the world began to fill the air. I had to take a moment and step back in awe at what I was seeing.

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Justice Lab was entirely based off of the idea of “what would happen if you brought together a community of young people who were passionate about social justice?” When we gathered together in Edmonton on February 20th the answer to that question was change. Real global change was igniting our conversation like wild fire. Why? Because extreme hunger is not acceptable and this group of students recognized it and knew they had the power to make a difference. And so do you.

Right now people from all over the world, not just Edmonton, are joining the fight to end extreme hunger. HungerFree is a global movement that believes a hunger free world is possible. There is enough food and resources on the planet to feed everyone. The only thing that’s missing is you.

Join the fight to end this injustice and be a part of the solution to seeing a hunger free world. Organizing a 30 Hour Famine event is great to experience the daily struggle of someone who experiences extreme hunger as well as creating your own community of world changers.

We can’t change the world alone, but we can cast a stone to create many ripples of change.

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