'Be a change agent. Change hearts. Save lives.'

Written by berlin.

That was the slogan of this year’s 30 hour Famine Camp conducted by World Vision Singapore in Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road). I don’t know where I should start from, so I guess I’ll start from my pre-camp dilemma.

‘Eh, want to join famine camp not?’
An MSN window popped up on my screen as I was using my laptop at home.

Famine camp? What for? Go there and starve? Worse still, pay them money for starving you. That’s a really dumb idea.

I thought about it and didn’t reply my friend. From the next day onwards, she kept asking me, day after day. Since she was so persistent, I finally gave in.

I finally decided to participate in the event and sacrificed 2 days of studying during the holidays for this 'insane' camp which starved the campers. Madness, what was I thinking of? All in the name of friendship, I have to sacrifice my favourite food for more than a day! – satay, prata, pastamania, pizza hut, xiao long pao and even PLAIN bread! Furthermore, I missed sleeping on my comfortable bed and my precious study time was affected.

Walking into ACS sports hall, I was constantly questioning myself.

Why am I here? What am I doing here when I could have been at home enjoying my Korean dramas and catching up with my studies? Okay Berlin, persevere.

The opening ceremony

We registered, received our tags and shirts and had lunch just before camp officially started. During the opening ceremony, we were introduced to a few important people from World Vision Singapore, ACS Barker and many more. However, out of these important people, there was one lady who stood out from the crowd. She had no title to her name and was just like any other – only with a dark history that represented testimony to the the unjust in this world. Yet, her speech resulted in a standing ovation in the auditorium.

After an opening ceremony, the camp started of with a game which I wont bother explaining because it’s simply too complicated and I shall save the agony of you readers trying to comprehend it. Basically we had to do many simple tasks that would drive people up the wall. For example, to stimulate water supply in third world countries, we had to ensure that a cup with a hole below it had constant supply of water by refilling it with the help of a teaspoon. This showed us how difficult it was for them to even get basic necessities like water.

Anyway, the highlight of the day was a poignant speech, up close and personal with a 20-year-old Cambodian lady, Srey Mom, who was child-trafficked when she was merely13-years old and sold into prostitution in a good-for-nothing brothel. Yes, she was the person I mentioned in the previous paragraph. It was a totally new experience for my friends and me as we often hear such stories before but merely brushed them aside. However for this time round, the story seemed to come to life as it was happening right before our eyes - how could we ignore such atrocities occurring so close to us?

Be a change agent. Change hearts. Save lives.

The next morning we were freshened up with an hour of aerobics and a couple of drinks. After learning so much, how can we sit back and watch them suffer? Thus we took upon the challenge to raise funds for them by collecting newspapers and old clothing. Our collection would translate into monetary terms which will go towards helping needy families of HIV/AIDS patients in Singapore. For example, 20kg of old newspapers which cost around $2.80 would be able to buy one bottle of 1kg cooking oil. The collection drive was held in Tampines. (Yes, the exact same area where we did our newspaper collection drive for Dover Park Hospice!) Our group of 10 people had to collect newspapers from six HDB blocks! It was horrible collecting newspapers during lunch hour when we walked by houses that were cooking their lunch. It smelt really great!

Later, we returned to ACS and attended the closing ceremony. There were performances by bands like By Definition, EIC and a dance performance by NTU MJ Dance. We watched a few clips by World Vision Singapore and it was finally time to break our fast.

It was an unforgettable camp.

What I gained from this camp:
2 – Do not discriminate people with HIV/aids. You will NOT contract HIV/aids from them by being in close contact.
3 – Be the change agent. Do your part in saving the Earth.


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