For over one billion of us, the internet is a major part of our lives. We use it to work, research and socialise. It has become integrated into our daily routine in such a way that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. This is the reason why it is so striking to learn that the number of people online is the same as the number of people who are hungry.
We first learnt about this staggering statistic at a weekly meeting of our WFP society at the University of Bristol. “One billion online, one billion hungry”. We all knew that the problem was serious, but for a generation where having computers and surfing the internet is second nature, the severity of the problem hit home. If we cannot imagine a world without the internet, then how hard must we try to imagine a world without enough food. The worrying thing is that this is not left to the imagination for over one billion people.
So we have decided to take action and have launched a bold and challenging fund-raising initiative. The principle is simple: can you go without the internet for a week? The campaign, named ‘Control Alt Delete Hunger’, challenges individuals to answer that question. “We felt ‘Control Alt Delete Hunger’ would be a fun and different way to raise money and awareness about such a serious, and quite often neglected, global issue”, says Arun Malik, President of Bristol WFP Society. “It’s a great opportunity to energise and engage the student community with the plight of the one billion people who go hungry every day”.
The sponsored disconnect is taking place between the 13th and 20th March 2011, but each participant can choose the amount of time they give up the internet for. By leaving the exact timings flexible we hope to attract as many as possible to take up the challenge.
Ironically, we hope the momentum for this event will build online. Using internet communication and social networking we want to get as many people disconnecting for hunger as we can. The event is quick to set up and so we hope to involve other universities to grow the campaign and spread the word further. Spending a week without the internet is sure to be a challenge for individuals, but hopefully they can lessen the challenge of hunger faced by so many, and play a part in raising awareness of the enormity of the problem.
To find out more information about this event, and to get involved please visit www.onebillionoffline.co.uk or email us.
Written by Ash Morris