The plight of refugees, and more specifically refugee children, is the local focus for this year’s 40-hour famine.
Students from Bendigo Senior Secondary College are taking part in the fundraising event, organised by World Vision, which allows participants to live off the contents of a bag for 40 hours.
As student Caitlin Allman explained, some refugee children are forced to hurriedly pack bags while fleeing their homes because of civil unrest.
“Usually you pick something (food) to go without and people sponsor, but this year you live out of whatever you pack in your back pack,” she said.
Participants are allowed to pack food and sleeping bags, for example.
Ms Allman said students completed the event separately, but shared their experiences on social media.
World Vision sets challenges along the way to try and replicate a refugee’s journey.
The famine, which began on Friday at 8pm, concludes on Sunday at 12pm.
World Vision chief executive officer Claire Rogers said there was a growing movement of young people wanting to make a difference in the world.
“This year the focus is different. Youth want to support the most pressing and important issues of today and with the daily barrage of social media images depicting the plight of child refugees in search of shelter and food – the refugee crisis is high on the agenda,” she said.
“A new generation is growing up with a new global crisis and youth want to do more than just donate to a cause.”
Funds raised will help provide food, water, blankets, tarps, temporary shelter and safe spaces for some of the world’s most vulnerable children and support World Vision projects in Syria, South Sudan and neighbouring countries.