Espoo International School raised money for Hunger Day by walking

Jarkko Mikkonen
Jarkko Mikkonen
Jarkko Mikkonen
Jarkko Mikkonen
Jarkko Mikkonen

The schoolyard of the International School in Espoo is filled with a sea of red collector vests. Over 170 middle school students have gathered wearing Red Cross attire to participate in the Hunger Day Walk.

What do you get with the money?
  • 1 euro: 5 pieces of soap
  • 4 euros: a warm blanket
  • 10 euros: 4 water cans
  • 18 euros: a baby box
  • 35 euros: 100 kg millet
  • 50 euros: 1000 doses of salt-sugar solution to treat diarrhea
  • 90 euros: courses of antibiotics to cure infections for 100 children

The Walk is organized by teacher Colin Duff, who tries to catch the youngsters’ attention with the help of a megaphone.

Every pair has been handed a map and reminded about working as a team.

The teacher doesn’t get the students’ attention for long, as they’re eager to get going. It is Friday afternoon, after all.

A fun and healthy way to do charity work

The president of the student council, Jamin Hu, asks to get interviewed fast, as he has planned to do a five-kilometer run four times. Hu’s parents have promised to sponsor the young man by five euros per kilometer. The faster he gets going, the bigger are his chances to reach his goal of 20 kilometers, which makes 100 euros. Hu knows that his money is going to the Disaster Relief Fund.

Hu gets to continue his run. It’s easier to keep up with Katariina Lampi and Furgan Mohamed. Both girls think that the Hunger Day Walk is a fun and healthy way of participating in Operation Hunger Day.

- I think this is a good idea. By walking, everybody is able to help and to raise money. I remember that we raised money by walking for Unicef in primary school. This is the first time that we are walking on Hunger Day. It’s good to get a bit of exercise, I could do this again, Lampi, the student council secretary, says.

Lampi’s parents are paying 1,50 euros per kilometer. Furgan Mohamed’s mother sponsors her daughter by one euro for a kilometer.

Furgan Mohamed was born in Finland, but last year she returned to the country after being away for many years. Still she knows well what Operation Hunger Day is about.

- I know that the Hunger Day raises money for more than just food, such as water and reconstruction work. I also know that the Red Cross has volunteers all around the world, who help people in need, like in Haiti during the earthquake, she recalls.

- And of course it’s fun to get to walk and talk with friends at the same time, like they are doing, Mohamed smiles and points at Lampi, who is united to her friend by an earphone.

Total sum to be revealed at the end of the month

The students did a walk of five kilometers, almost in a circle, at least once during Friday afternoon. They were carrying a sponsor paper, where they were supposed to gather two stamps, one halfway and one at the goal, to get their round accepted.

- I got this idea while I was working for my previous school in Australia, says teacher Colin Duff.

- I wanted to do something that was related to Finland. I heard about Operation Hunger Day and found out how we could participate.

Mr Duff doesn’t dare to make a guess about the final amount quite yet, but promises to inform at the end of the month, as the students have returned all their paperwork.

- We are going for another round, two students cry out as they pass their teachers.