Australian youths once more show determination in the face of the global refugee crisis

World Vision returns this year with the iconic 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge (17-19 August) to support refugees worldwide and raise awareness of the global refugee crisis.

The refugee crisis continues to escalate, with over 68.5 million refugees and displaced persons worldwide, half of which are under the age of 18.

Young Australians continue to be concerned by the refugee crisis. Reportedly 91% of young Australians want to do more to help refugees. These findings come from the report, ‘Australian Youth on the Global Refugee Crisis.’ Its findings also indicate that over half of young Australians have considered the possibility that they themselves could become a refugee.

World Vision holds the 40 Hour Famine Backpack Campaign to raise funds for the 34.25 million children who are forced to flee their homes due to conflict and famine. Young Aussies will pack essential items and live out of a backpack for 40 hours.

World Vision Chief Advocate Tim Costello, says that young Australians today want to become more involved and do more to raise awareness for the refugee crisis than just donate.

“This is why the 40  HF is now a backpack challenge,” Mr Costello said.

“The Backpack Challenge encourages a deeper level of understanding of the refugee crisis in young Australians.”

It does this by engaging participants with the stories of children that have been displaced from across the world – those [particularly of Lilias, Obada, Jubaida and Rhoda.

This year there is also a 40 HF Chatbot Charlie, connecting young Australians in the challenge, which aims at facilitating in participants a deeper understanding of the crisis.

Many schools are engaging their students to carry out a 40 HF activation as part of the Backpack Challenge. For instance, almost 100 students from Melbourne High School are walking home from school today from their school located in South Yarra. Some of these students live up to 50 km away and will undertake a long walk home as a symbol of solidarity with child refugees worldwide.

While Casey Grammar School in Cranbourne is planning a sleep out with 25 of their students. They will be camping on the school oval, cooking and collecting firewood and water.

Australian youth can get involved in the 40 Hour Famine by Participating in the Backpack Challenge for 40 hours (17-19 August) to raise awareness and much-needed funds to help refugee and displaced children.

  • Sponsoring someone who is doing the 40 Hour Famine.
  • Joining the online conversation at or using

     #40Hour Famine on Twitter.

  • Visiting for more information, to register and to donate.

The funds raised will help provide food, water, blankets, tarps, temporary shelter and safe spaces for some of the world’s most vulnerable children and support World Vision projects in two different areas heavily affected by the crisis – Syria and South Sudan and neighbouring countries.

From 8pm Friday until 12pm on Sunday, young Aussies will be participating across the nation in raising awareness for the global refugee crisis.


For interviews with World Vision, Chief Advocate, Tim Costello is available for interviews on the world refugee crisis and the BackPack challenge. Please call Leah Swann on 0421 857 591 or email on 

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