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Eddie Peng and Amber Kuo call for people to feed hungry children in the Horn of Africa(01/17/12)

At a press conference held by World Vision Taiwan today, celebrity spokespersons Eddie Peng (彭于彥) and Amber Kuo (郭采潔) shared their eyewitness stories from a recent visit to Kenya in the Horn of Africa on January 7-13, 2012. They called on people to support World Vision’s response to the Horn of Africa food crisis through the 30 Hour Famine campaign.
 
On this trip, the two celebrities visited children who fed on wild fruit and families struggling to survive the extreme shortage of food and water. They also joined World Vision’s relief workers to distribute rice and other food items to the needy. At a health center supported by World Vision, they helped take care of severely malnourished children by feeding them with nutritious food.
 
“The climate change effects are taking a toll on the people in Kenya. It had not rained for three months in the area that we visited. Every drop of water and every grain of rice are essentially important,” said Mr. Peng.
 
Mr. Peng added, “We always tell people not to waste resources, but after seeing the desperate need with my own eyes, I started to put it into practice.”
 
Ms. Kuo shared how the rice donated by Taiwan was making a difference in the lives of children and families in Kenya.
 
“When I saw the image of our national flag printed on the bags of rice donated by Taiwan, I was thrilled,” said Ms. Kuo, “I was there to witness the big impact made by the contribution of Taiwanese donors.”
 
She continued, “At a rice distribution point, a woman looked into my eyes while she put one hand on her chest to express her gratefulness to Taiwan for the support she received.”
 
Despite the overwhelming hardship they saw in the lives of Kenyan people, the celebrities also found in the people’s smiles a strong resilience and positive attitude toward life. 
 
Ms. Kuo admitted, “At some points I was so touched, but tried very hard to hold back my tears. The people there don’t need my pity. They just need my compassion.”
 
The two celebrities also shared that through their firsthand experiences from this trip, their abstract concept about love has been turned into action. As this year’s 30 Hour Famine Ambassadors, they will not only try their best to spread out the messages, but also start to raise fund from their friends and family to initiate water projects in the Horn of Africa that is facing the worst drought in sixty years.
 
Ms. Kuo said, “I didn’t have a faith, but after returning from Kenya, whenever I have a meal, I would first think about the significance of the food in front of me and pray for a fair distribution of food across the world.”
 
She continued, “I would never feel tired but repeat my stories from Kenya over and over again as long as one would listen.”
 
“This is the most meaningful journey I’ve ever had,” said Mr. Peng, “What I experienced on this trip made me realize how blessed I was and how many opportunities I have been given.”
 
He added, “I know I have an influence on young people. Since I’ve seen and experienced what hunger really meant, I want to encourage youths to gain their own experiences. To participate in the 30 Hour Famine is one way to do it. I also hope some of them can join a project visit someday to experience a day in the lives of people in the developing world.”
 
Through this year’s 30 Hour Famine Campaign, World Vision Taiwan aims to raise NT$200 million (US$6.7 million) to support emergency relief programs in 25 countries including Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Niger, North Korea, Afghanistan, East Timor, and Taiwan.
 
From January through March 31, donations can be made at over 4,000 7-ELEVEN stores island-wide.
 
On February 11-12, Eddie Peng and Amber Kuo will attend the Famine Hero Rally in National Stadium in Kaohsiung to share their concern for the hungry with an estimated 30,000 participants and call for people to support the appeal of “Famine No More.”
 

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