Sandra (14), Uganda
Whatever the news headlines tell you, the truth is this: we have made incredible progress in making the world a better place.
At the start of 2020, more people had clean water, and more children went to school worldwide than ever before in history. More people could live free from hunger because we halved extreme poverty around the world in just 25 years.
We have taken the fight to poverty and injustice – and we have been winning. But right now, our grip on those hard-won gains is slipping. A hunger pandemic threatens everything.
The fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing vulnerable kids further into poverty. Pushing them to the brink of starvation.
We are facing what could be the biggest hunger crisis of our lifetime.
Millions of children in sub-Saharan Africa are facing aching hunger as the shock waves unleashed by COVID-19 worsen the damage that extreme poverty, climate change and decades of conflict have already done to children's lives and futures.
13-year-old Aaron is hungry and scared.
Aaron's father died last year during Uganda's nationwide lockdown to contain COVID-19, leaving him, his mum and his three siblings to fend for themselves. His mum is struggling to provide for them.
Aaron (13), pictured in the pink and green shirt, with his mum and siblings at their home in Uganda.
Aaron's family depends on farming for food and income, but without his father and with the challenges of the pandemic, they can barely grow enough to survive.
"Dad and Mum used to work together, and our harvest would be good," says Aaron. "Before, we never went hungry. But things changed drastically when we lost my dad."
Aaron's mum has already spent what small savings she had to meet her children's daily needs. "Now, we eat just once a day. It's not easy. I worry my mum will get sick. People dying scares me the most," he says.
When hunger threatens a child, like Aaron, there's no time to waste. Every minute matters. Every hour counts.
Through this year's World Vision 40 Hour Famine, we'll stand together to give children food for today and a future for tomorrow. Children like Sandra.
Sandra lost both her parents when she was young. Now age 14, she lives with her grandma and sister in Uganda.
Sandra (14), Uganda.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, her family was struggling to put food on the table. Sandra and her sister did farm work after school to earn money to buy food. They tried to grow their own crops, and sometimes, they would just have to beg.
"When COVID-19 broke out, restrictions meant we had to stay home. That's made it even harder to find food. Whenever we ask or look for food, everyone says they don't have enough either. Now, we're all facing this problem," says Sandra.
"We only have one meal a day. I get really hungry. Food is so scarce. I wish my parents were still alive to help us. I really wish this situation of hunger would stop very soon."
Right now, Sandra and millions of kids like her are hungry and have no idea where their next meal will come from.
What happens next is up to us.
The funds you raise in this year's World Vision 40 Hour Famine will help protect children in sub-Saharan Africa from the hunger pandemic. Children like Aaron and Sandra.
Your challenge is to live without something you rely on for 40 hours – transport, furniture, technology, or food. You'll experience life without one of your necessities to give a child the tools they need for a hunger-free future – food, seeds, chickens and more.
No matter what challenge you choose, your time to act is right now. Together, we can shape history.
Find the person or team fundraising that you want to donate to and show them your support.
Join the World Vision 40 Hour Famine to stop the hunger pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa.
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