Take The Backpack Challenge

CHALLENGE RULES

1. Complete a series of Amazing Race stations that replicate real life situations that refugees encounter

2. Live out of a backpack that only contains bare essentials

3. No eating for 30 hours

Challenger: WEE EN, 18

2 Fun Facts:

1. I have a phobia of butterflies and other flying insects
2. I have super low tolerance for spicy food even though I love tomyam so much!

INITIAL THOUGHTS
I’m quite unsure of what to expect! As someone who’s generally interested about social justice, I really look forward to learning more about what goes on in countries struck with natural disasters, war, and poverty. I’ve recently been in a period of fasting, so I guess going on for 30 hours without food shouldn’t be too bad? It’s kind of scary to be in a camp by myself too (I’m going alone!), but I think I am really excited to go through this new experience.

THE CHALLENGE
Day 1
Today was really physically exhausting! We had an amazing race with station games for the whole day. The games helped us understand what goes on in disaster struck areas. At one of the stations, we were to carry 10 heavy boxes up a watchtower within a tight time limit at Yishun Pond Park. One of us was wrapped in a thick and heavy blanket to represent survivors trapped in debris, leaving only six of us to do the heavy lifting. It was tough, especially with the time limit breathing down our necks and a group mate pinned down under the hot carpet. Bringing the game into context of disaster-stricken areas, we were doing the job of debris workers, removing debris from collapsed buildings to save trapped survivors. The work was backbreaking and stressful, and although it was nowhere near the real thing, the pressure was intense. In the situation of an earthquake casualty, every second is a second closer to being saved, or dying.

At around 1pm, I started to get hungry. With the physical workout and walking from venue to venue, I was wishing for something to fill my stomach. I guess the fact that we were in a “famine” didn’t really sink in for others either! I heard people asking multiple times if there really wasn’t going to be any food provided. After the long day of games and activities, we had a campfire in which Jared Berends (our camp speaker, a humanitarian response worker from World Vision) told us more about these refugees and the reality of their struggle. We were given cards to write to children struggling in Vietnam. That night, we slept on the hard ground, which wasn’t too bad (for me at least, but I can sleep anywhere) except it was cold.

Day 2
We did service work by packing and delivering food to families in need. It was meaningful to meet the people in need and interact with them. The last household was an Indian family consisting of an elderly lady and two children, aged around 6 and 10. The house was really small and scarcely furnished. The lady was quiet and shy, but thanked us for the delivery. It was a short exchange, but very heartening.

We ended camp with a Singapore Book of Records challenge — all campers laid down to form the longest conveyor belt and passed down 23 bags of rice via sit ups, to signify the workers who unload and give out supplies to the refugees. Finally, after 30 hours, we ended the camp with some bread buns (I took an extra)!

FINAL THOUGHTS
The Famine Camp was a really unique experience that opened my eyes to the state of the world and left me with different thoughts. The first is how blessed we are to reside in a country that’s stable, safe, and prosperous. Most of us have never heard the sound of a live bullet, or the tremor of an earthquake. But that’s not the case for millions of people around the world. How often are we thankful for what we have? How can we complain? I think thanksgiving often comes when we decide to stop keeping track of the “bad” things, and start counting our blessings.

Secondly, apart from taking time out to educate ourselves more on their situation, we should also look to the immediate needs of the community around us. Although I did know of and had previously interacted with the poor and needy around me, the encounter with the elderly Indian lady and her grandchildren was a reminder that even with Singapore’s pristine reputation, there are still “hidden” people in need. I believe God blesses us so that we can bless others, especially those in our immediate reach! I hope the Church in Singapore will one day be a reflection of the Acts Church in Acts 4:32-35.

My third thought would be the importance of representing Christ in all this. We might not have the money to support everyone in need, but I believe it could mean more to be there in person to interact and love these people. And if we can’t take time out of our schedules to help in person, then we should pray and contend for them from where we are.

This camp has taught me that God doesn’t just care about me. He cares about my family, my classmates, the people who walk by, and the suffering in the world. And when I stop seeing my relationship with Him as exclusive, but something to be shared, only then will I be able to truly reach out and show His love to others.

Overall, I super recommend the camp! 

Kallos Team
At Kallos, we aim to empower young women globally to be advocates of inner beauty and confidence and to boldly live out their God-planned design.