SIR – Concern Worldwide is urging the people of Cork to give up a habit or activity they normally do for 24 hours for the annual Fast campaign to raise vital funds for children dying from hunger. Social media, television and video games are among the many things that people can forgo for a day as part of what is now one of Ireland’s longest running fundraising campaigns.
Traditionally, Concern Fast focused on giving up food, but it can now include any activity or habit, such as drinking coffee, smoking, driving, using smart phones or vocalised pauses, which are the fillers people use in sentences when they talk, such as “um”, “ah” and “like”.
The 48-year-old campaign, which began the same year the Irish aid agency was founded in 1968, takes place on Thursday, November 24th, and the funds raised will help children suffering in countries like Ethiopia, Syria and South Sudan.
It is unacceptable that about three million children die every year from undernutrition, which is an average of around 8,220 children a day or a child dying every 10.5 seconds.
The phenomenal support Fast has had over so many years has made a difference and is testament to the commitment Irish people have in raising funds for people suffering from hunger and poverty.
Donations from Concern Fast will help provide high-energy therapeutic food for malnourished children and will also give families the long-term support needed to feed their children in years to come.
Concern, which is a member of Charities Institute Ireland, said a donation of €24 will provide enough to feed one child for a month. The aid agency helped 22.6 million people in 28 countries in 2015 and responded to 42 emergencies thanks to funds received, including donations from Fast.
People can sign up for Concern Fast at www.concern.net/fast or by calling 1850 50 50 55 – and participants can also engage with Concern on Twitter @Concern, Facebook, Snapchat and on Instagram.