Our Middle School Sustainability Club hosted our much anticipated Hunger Banquet this week. This event was in service to Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, and had over 50 people in attendance.
A Hunger Banquet is a powerful event that brings to life the inequalities in our world and challenges us to realize how our decisions affect others globally, motivates us to do something, and empowers us to take action as change-makers in our wider community.
The UNIS Hanoi Hunger Banquet was an interactive event, facilitated by students, that brought statistics about hunger and poverty to life. Guests, young and old, randomly selected tickets matching real people who are high, middle, or low-income earners, that represent proportional global standards-of-living. Out of our participants, 15% enjoyed a full-course meal complete with royal treatment, 25% sat in a more simple setting and ate a meager meal (of plain tofu and rice), and the remaining 60% shared rice while sitting on the floor. Where each of us ended up was all in the luck of the draw.
After a keynote address by Ms McGee and event introduction by our MC team, our student facilitators guided us through an experience that gave us the opportunity to reflect on our privileges and power to make change. After the event, everyone came together for a meal and conversations.
Our student facilitators closed the event with a quote from Nelson Mandela:
“Poverty is not natural. It is manmade and it can be overcome…. Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.”
We’d like to thank the MS Sustainability Club for helping us to come together to reflect on the global issue of poverty from the perspective of justice and equity, and challenge us to take action locally to share resources sustainably.