Just 24 hours before World Food Day celebrations begin, Church World Service has called on the world to fight against global hunger by joining in the "Dear Sudan" campaign.
Posted: Saturday, October 15 , 2005, 11:34 (UK)
As World Food Day approaches, Church World Service has called on people around the world to help in the fight against world hunger by joining in the “Dear Sudan” Campaign. World Food Day is a global event held on October 16 across 150 countries to mark the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 1945, and which aims to highlight the plight of the world’s hungry and malnourished and to encourage people to engage in action against hunger. The “Dear Sudan” started out as a small local-level initiative in Petaluma, California, but soon grew into a national, interfaith campaign backed by the CWS and several of its member denominations, including the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and The United Methodist Church. The American Jewish World Service also sponsors the campaign. “I really feel in my heart that we are going to be able to save thousands of lives,” said Tim Nonn, a Petaluma, California-based editor and father of a six-year old son, who responded to watching the pain of starving children in Sudan dying in the arms of their parents by writing a letter, beginning “Dear Sudan”. In it, he pledged his community, Petaluma, would raise enough funds to feed for one day the number of Sudanese refugees equivalent to the town’s population of around 55,000. The grassroots campaign was so successful that it managed to surpass its original goal by around US$4,000, before growing into a nationwide campaign. “We applaud this creative, grassroots effort and urge communities across the country to join in,” says Rev. John L. McCullough, Executive Director of Church World Service. Now the campaign has expanded its goals to raise enough money for food and medicine for displaced Sudanese and as raise awareness of the situation in Sudan The campaign also calls upon individuals to write letters to their representatives in Congress urging them to take action to stop the government-sponsored attacks in the Darfur region of western Sudan. CWS, in a press release earlier this week, has appealed to people across the globe to observe World Food Day by joining in the “Dear Sudan” campaign and by supporting their local CWS Crop Walks, the community fundraising appeal of CWS that helps alleviate hunger and poverty locally and globally. The CWS press release also stressed that joining in the “Dear Sudan” campaign would also help contribute to the fulfilment of the UN Millenium Development Goals to reduce the nearly 11 million children who die each year from preventable causes, mainly malnutrition. Around 4 million Sudanese have been left displaced following a peace accord to settle Sudan’s 21-year-long North-South war and are now travelling from camps in the North to the South. Church World Service has already began an aid programme to provide these refugees with food, medicines, water and sanitation, agricultural inputs and tools, as well as counselling for the most traumatised.