Andover Skips Dinner For Annual Oxfam Fund-raiser

Last Tuesday, Phillips Academy held its annual Oxfam fast to raise money for hungry communities around the world. Students, faculty, and staff members who participated in the event were asked to sign a pledge and abstained from eating dinner at Commons. An estimated 400 people participated. Commons will donate approximately $600, $1.50 for each participant. Andover’s Oxfam club is directly associated with Oxfam International, which was founded in 1995. Oxfam International collaborates with over 3,000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty, suffering and injustice. On November 26, 2006, Oxfam International organized the “Fast for a World Harvest” day. Observers skipped a meal to honor those in need and contributed donations. Oxfam Andover designates a day in the winter or spring term every year to hold a similar fast at PA in accordance with the campus awareness theme. Members of Oxfam Andover held dorm talks to spread awareness and to invite boarders to partake in this event. During the regular dinner time, Oxfam Andover featured the film “Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, in 1924 House. The movie is about a group of musicians in a refugee camp in West Africa who come together to stay motivated. Many students seemed to get a general sense of what experiencing hunger would be like. Jennifer Downing ’08 said “Feeling hungry and knowing you could not eat a meal was an odd sensation to experience on campus because there is food all around—Ryley Room, Commons, CAMD, the dorm, even offices like Dean of Students’. It’s a type of discomfort we don’t often experience, which reminds us of the privileges we have and our responsibility to help others who suffer from oppressive hunger everyday. I hope others had similar realizations.” Since students and faculty were directly involved in the fast, many felt as if they had really made a difference in the effort. Chris Kim ’08 said, “I think it is a good idea because it helped other people, even though I was a little hungry.” Echoing the opinions of many other students, Zainab Doctor ’10 said, “I think it was a really good idea. It was good because it helped others. We really didn’t have to do much and it is great to have that opportunity.”