Going hungry is not a holiday idea most students would readily take to.
However at two events last month, some teens plucked up the courage to take part in "poverty" projects. Some subsisted on $2 a day and others abstained from solid food for 30 hours. As part of their service learning projects and for some, personal experience, they chose to share the plight of 1.2 billion people worldwide who live in extreme poverty.
Students from St Joseph's Institution (SJI) International turned the first week of last month into Action For Poverty Week, during which students lived on $2 a day for five days in a bid to raise $4,000. The money will go towards building a classroom for The Bamboo School, an orphanage in rural Thailand. Together with other fund-raising efforts during the week, the students managed to raise $4,150.
Meanwhile, about 1,000 young people from more than 60 schools signed up for World Vision's 30-Hour Famine Camp. During the camp, held at Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road), they abstained from solid food.
The international advocacy group's event brought to the fore global poverty-awareness. For a $45 fee, the camp allowed teens to participate in a series of activities centred on the issue of poverty.
The money collected for the event went towards funding food security projects run by World Vision in countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Mongolia and India. The event raised about $42,000.
Campers such as Wong Tun Hui, from Pei Hwa Secondary School, endured jibes from friends for "paying money to starve".
"That's what they say, but the money goes to charity and it's also a new experience for me," said the 15-year-old.
Others, including 15-year-old Joel Chin, were curious about how their counterparts in countries endure poverty. "My peers and I have been greatly blessed," said the student of Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road).