Over the weekend students from around the country will be taking part in the World Vision 40 Hour Famine.

They will give up something for 40 hours, fighting for children and their communities in Malawi, a landlocked country of about 18 million in southeastern Africa.

Paraparaumu College student leaders Cassie Tauro and Abi Bertham are determined not to let coronavirus stop them helping others.

"The whole coronavirus situation has changed the way we have gone about things this year," Cassie said.

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"It's made it hard for organisations that require fundraising to help other people."

Abi added: "We are worried about World Vision and how much money we are going to be able to raise for them because we want to help the people in Malawi as best we can."

Paraparaumu College World Vision 40hr Famine group. Photo / Rosalie Willis
Paraparaumu College World Vision 40hr Famine group. Photo / Rosalie Willis

40 Hour Famine funds are due back to the charity at the end of term two, but the students are keen to continue raising funds throughout term three.
Droughts, cyclones, flooding and other extreme weather-related destruction have displaced many people in Malawi from their homes.

Floods have changed where and how crops are grown and with agriculture and farming being a main source of income and food in Malawi "it's pretty much ruined the whole area", said Cassie.

Abi said World Vision is trying to help create a more sustainable way of living and ways of growing crops that won't be affected by climate change. Some of the money will also go towards learning spaces for youth children.


"It's not just about poverty and refugees, like it has been in the past, but about feeding into the whole community and economic situation."

Cassie continued: "Rather than putting a bucket under the tap of all their problems, they are closing the tap by providing sustainable solutions."


Moving to New Zealand from Africa when she was 6 years old, Cassie has a sense of "this could have been me".

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"If I hadn't had this lucky upbringing that has led me to where I am, I could be one of the people these funds are going to.

"I can't just sit here and go la-di-da I'm in New Zealand, I've got to do something."


Famine Week activities include a bake sale and sausage sizzle, staff verses student quizzes.
Visit Paraparaumu College World Vision 2020 on Facebook for links of how to give, or sign up today at famine.org.nz.

More on the Malawi hunger crisis

40hr Famine funds are going to Malawi this year.
40hr Famine funds are going to Malawi this year.

• Extreme weather is causing loss of crops for communities who rely heavily on them – 71.9 per cent of Malawians are subsistence farmers. One bad yield because of drought or flooding can mean the difference between surviving and children going hungry.

• Climate-vulnerable communities face food shortages, hunger and malnutrition.

• World Vision is working with communities in Malawi to help them adapt to and mitigate extreme weather conditions, and to safeguard their human rights.