Tens of thousands of New Zealand youth to go without for South Sudanese refugees in 40 Hour Famine

04 Jun 2019 by Evie Marinkovich, Media Advisor
Tens of thousands of New Zealand youth to go without for South Sudanese refugees in 40 Hour Famine

Tens of thousands of New Zealand youth to go without for South Sudanese refugees in 40 Hour Famine

It’s New Zealand’s largest youth fundraising event and this year World Vision’s 40 Hour Famine will see tens of thousands of students from hundreds of schools across the country take on a challenge, or give something up – like food, warm blankets, speaking or technology. And it’s all to provide life-saving aid for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.

Spread across 40 hours from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th June, in all, approximately 90,000 New Zealand youth are expected to take part and raise vital funds for the more than 800,000 South Sudanese who have fled conflict with hope of finding refuge in Uganda.

This year, much-loved Kiwi actor Julian Dennison is championing the 40 Hour Famine in his new role as Famine Ambassador. Julian has recently returned from a trip to Uganda with World Vision where he met with young refugees, many of whom were of a similar age, and found out what kind of impact fleeing war-torn South Sudan has had on them; and exactly how Kiwi kids can help.

“So many of the South Sudanese refugees I met fled their homes without their parents – and some with no family at all. They all have so much responsibility, at such a young age, and are having to adjust to a new reality – yet despite the hardships they have and are facing I was met with big smiles and so much hope for their futures.

“I feel so privileged to have this platform as the 2019 40 Hour Famine Ambassador because I know that each and every single Kiwi involved will help to create change for the hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.”

World Vision New Zealand National Director Grant Bayldon says it has been inspiring having Julian onboard, seeing just how passionate he is about using his voice to raise awareness and money for the South Sudanese refugee crisis. 

“Julian has really empowered our youth to stand up and take charge in this year’s 40 Hour Famine. I am really looking forward to seeing what challenges everyone takes up or things they give up to raise money, and the impact this will have on vulnerable South Sudanese refugees.”

Money raised in the 2019 40 Hour Famine will help provide essentials for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda from the moment they cross the border, including nutritious food, clean water, foster care, household items, peace clubs for young people and more. 

Bayldon encourages those who haven’t yet signed up to do so now at famine.org.nz 

More on the 40 Hour Famine
Since it started, in 1975, the New Zealand 40 Hour Famine has raised more than $80 million and brought hope to thousands of children living in poverty in more than 40 countries.

More than three million New Zealanders have participated in the 40 Hour Famine since it began.

Last year, Famine participants raised $1.8 million for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.

More on the South Sudan Refugee Crisis
Years of civil war has resulted in South Sudan becoming one of the poorest countries in the world. Due to the conflict, more than four million people have been forced from their homes, including 2.3 million who have sought safety in other countries, while more than six million people within South Sudan don’t have enough to eat.

Uganda too is one of the poorest countries in the world, yet it has opened its doors to those who are suffering and need safety. 

There are more than 800,000 South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, over 60% of whom are children – among them many who have arrived without their parents, who have been lost or killed. 

Life for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda is hard. They rely on organisations like World Vision for essentials. 

Evie Marinkovich, Media Advisor - PR & Social, World Vision New Zealand
Evie.Marinkovich@worldvision.org.nz  |  09 583 0404

Gabriel Thomas, Media Advisor, World Vision New Zealand
Gabriel.Thomas@worldvision.org.nz  |  09 583 0404

Julian Dennison is not available for interview, but selected photos are available from his trip to Uganda.
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