Of the 50 students and teachers who attended the International Dinner at Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS) on June 20, five people sat on the floor with no food, 35 people received only bread and water, and ten people enjoyed an abundant spread featuring several international dishes. The inequality wasn’t a service oversight; Year 12 students and dinner organizers Katie Dark and Alex Chang planned it that way.
The event forced attendees to confront world hunger, on a more personal level. Dark and Chang organized the dinner as part of the CreativityAction Service (CAS) requirement of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, but decided to make people more physically aware of hunger, which affects 925 million people worldwide.
The allocation of food at the YCIS dinner exemplified the global problem of unequal food distribution. At the dinner, those presented with ample food quickly shared with their friends. But after the meal Dark and Chang gave a presentation that explained that we are quick to share our food with those we recognize, but because we cannot see those around the world who suffer from hunger, their plight is largely ignored. Dark, who is also Student Council President, and Chang also revealed that 32.5 percent of children in developing countries suffer from malnutrition and that those children experience illness for more than 160 days every year.
Though attendees may have left with less food in their bellies than they had hoped, the dinner made everyone quite aware that just having enough food to eat is an incredible privilege.
Photos courtesy of YCIS