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Thousands Living Out Of A Backpack For The 40 Hour Famine

The backpack challenge is an opportunity to understand what it's like to be a refugee.

12/08/2017 5:49 PM AEST | Updated 12/08/2017 5:57 PM AEST
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The 40 Hour Famine has rebooted it's campaign, now including a backpack challenge.

This weekend, thousands of Australians will live for 40 hours with the clothes on their back and a small backpack of food and belongings as they take part in the 40 Hour Famine.

The 40 Hour Famine backpack challenge aims to encourage participants to raise awareness about the living conditions refugees face, at the same time as raising funds for displaced people.

Every minute, 24 people become displaced around the world and more than 50 percent are children.

CEO of World Vision Australia, Claire Rogers, told the ABC the backpack challenge is an opportunity to understand what it is like to be a refugee.

"Across Australia this weekend, tens of thousands of teenagers are making those choices -- what to take with them -- to understand what it's like to be a refugee," Rogers said.

"The have to live out of a backpack for 40 hours. They need to take warm clothing, their food, their water, toilet paper and those things that they need for living this weekend."

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Participants are encouraged to set up a funding page on the 40 Hour Famine website to keep track of fundraising efforts.

As part of the event, participants also have the opportunity to take part in challenges that mock real-life situations.

"They've seen militia on the road and they've needed to flee and hide and in the chaos they've been separated from their group and as they regroup they realise they've lost things from the backpack," Rogers said.

"So the youth of Australia are choosing what they would have to let go of right now for the rest of the weekend."

According to Rogers, roughly half of Australian schools are participating in the 40 Hour Famine this year.

In previous years, World Vision's 40 Hour Famine has been a charity event whereby participants give up food for just under two days to raise money and awareness about hunger and poverty around the world.

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