The Hunger Experience

A group of staff and students took part in The Hunger Experience last weekend to raise much-needed funds for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) in Footscray.

Some gave up food for 24 hours while others gave up technology or their bed. The idea was to experience what was like to go without a basic necessity for a day and to experience, to a small degree, what it might be like to be a refugee or asylum seeker struggling to source the basics.

During a check-in call eight hours into the event, students and staff described the experience as exhausting, painful, eye-opening and difficult. Year 9 student Ophelia Fernando gave her account below.

So far, the group has raised $680 for the ASRC through its GoFundMe page. Donations are still being accepted via this link

The Hunger Experience initiative was timely given this week is Refugee Week. The theme for 2020 is the Year of Welcome. Welcome is about generosity, opening our arms and our houses to friends and strangers, feeding the hungry and avoiding the temptation to shut the door.

As part of Refugee Week activities, members of the Social Justice Team will set up a refugee detention display in the courtyard outside the canteen at lunchtime on Thursday (18 June). Students will stand behind a fenced-off area with signs that display information about the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. They will also collect money for the ASRC on the day.

The team would like to thank everyone for their support.

An uncomfortable night for a good cause

The ASRC is facing challenging times, with COVID-19 stretching its frontline services to the limit. Right now, it is a lifeline for thousands of people who need help. Each day, caseworkers are seeing increasing numbers of people who need the basics, including people who had lived independently in the community

before the pandemic.

Year 9 student Ophelia Fernando gives her account of an uncomfortable night sleeping on the floor during The Hunger Experience – something many refugees and asylum seekers do every night.

“I somehow fell asleep in my sleeping bag on the floor from around 10.40pm to 5.30am. I woke up and because my family turns off the heating system when we are all asleep … my wooden floor was freezing! I tried so hard to stay in one position in my sleeping bag, otherwise all the warmth would be gone, and I would no longer be warm. I then fell asleep from around 5.50am to 8am (when) I was awoken by my alarm. I turned it off immediately - it was morning.

Social Justice Team

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