Concern Annual Fast to take place on Thursday

Concern supported farmer Ahimed Ali Mahamed, happily shows off potato crop produce.  Ethiopia. Photo: Jennifer Nolan / Concern Worldwide
Concern supported farmer Ahimed Ali Mahamed, happily shows off potato crop produce. Ethiopia. Photo: Jennifer Nolan / Concern Worldwide

Concern Worldwide will be holding its annual fast this Thursday, November 21.

Participants can fast from food for 24 hours on the official date or any time of their choosing.

The usual common sense rules apply: you must be reasonably healthy and you are advised to drink plenty of fluids.

It is easiest to begin after an evening meal and just miss breakfast and lunch. You can donate whatever money you raise from your own resources or by getting sponsorship. This can be transferred to Concern by using their website or directly to the Concern bookshop in Ferryquay Street.

You can also have an alternative approach, denying yourself, e.g. not using your phone or text over a 72 hour period. The fast can be done by individuals or by any group such as workplaces, friends and schools. The good news is that for each pound raised by the public a further pound is matched by government donations. This matching scheme continues until Christmas.

The emphasis on food is particularly relevant to Concern which is one of Ireland’s leading charities for the poorer parts of the world. Concern concentrates its efforts on relieving food poverty. Food poverty has been much improved in recent years. Thirty years ago almost a third of the world’s population suffered from lack of food. This has mercifully been much reduced with one in nine of the world’s population still suffering from lack of food. This is still a huge number. The causes of many: war, climate change, natural disasters, corruption etc. Depressingly the consequences always seem to be the same.

The immediate results are easily appreciated. A twenty four hour fast will give some insights into that feeling. Prolonged lack of food leads to numerous problems. Crucially prolonged hunger in childhood leads to stunted growth physically, mentally and emotionally. The consequences can be passed from one generation to another. Our own history of the ‘Gorta Mor’, the Famine, is an illustration of how hunger and neglect can lead to long term problems.

Concern has an excellent reputation for transferring the funds raised to people in need. Concern has over 3,000 volunteers in 26 of the poorest countries in the world . Much in the news,

Volunteers are working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon to provide food and shelter for families displaced by the war. The Concern website tells a personal story of Violette a woman in Burundicentral Africa. She was abandoned by her husband to care for eleven children on her own With help from Concern you began a micro business selling banana juice. With the small profits she was able to buy a goat which gave nutritious milk for her children and much needed manure for her small farm.

Those taking part in the Concern fast can be confident the funds raised will be put to good use for people like Violette.