I was contacted by Comic Relief this week to ask if I would like to come along to an event with which they are involved. Enough Food For Everyone IF, is a coalition of over 200 UK organisations campaigning for action by G8 leaders to eliminate hunger. Launched last week Big IF London is a huge public rally taking place in London’s Hyde Park on Saturday 8th June.
And I am going along to show my support. I have never been to a rally before but this feels like the right one to be my first. Simply because it is so important.
Comic Relief is one of the organisations who are part of that coalition. A coalition that believes the food system is broken – simply because the world produces enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food. So this coalition is asking our leaders (at the G8) to do four important things (that go by the name of ‘the four big Ifs’) to fix it! You can read more about it here: Enough Food If
The free event will feature inspiring speeches from philanthropist Bill Gates, former Archbishop of Canterbury and Chair of Christian Aid Rowan Williams and broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky. Specially recorded messages from David Beckham and Eddie Izzard will also be broadcast to the crowd.
The event will be hosted by Gethin Jones and Myleene Klass and will also include exclusive appearances from a number of campaign supporters including Grammy Award winning singer Angelique Kidjo. They will join thousands of people in Hyde Park to demand David Cameron & G8 leaders tackle the causes of global hunger. Additional names will be announced in the lead up to the event.
Everyone at the Big IF London event will help create a huge visual petition to demonstrate the scale of public support for the IF campaign. The petition will be made up of 250,000 spinning flowers, with a total of two million petals representing the two million children who die because of hunger each year – lives that can be saved if world leaders take action at the G8.
You can make flowers ahead of the event, by clicking on this link: Spinning Flowers. Even you can’t make the event, why not make flowers anyway, sign them and show support for the campaign on social media? Or if you go to the link in the paragraph above you can sign the petition to show your support. You can also add a twibbon to your Twitter avatar, and send an auto tweet with your avatar being shown on the big screen at the event.
Bill Gates, who will be speaking at the event, commented:
The UK is a critical champion for global development. And once again the UK is demonstrating its leadership by putting agriculture and nutrition at the top of the political agenda. I am delighted to offer my support to the IF campaign and hope that the people of the UK will rise to the occasion on June 8th by standing up against hunger at the Big IF London event.
UNICEF Ambassador David Beckham said:
There is enough food in the world for everyone, but not everyone has enough food. Every 15 seconds, a child dies of malnutrition. As a UNICEF Ambassador, I have seen how simple, low-cost solutions stop children dying of hunger and malnutrition. In the next few weeks, G8 leaders could decide the fate of millions of children around the world. I want them to stop the scandal of hunger. IF you want to be part of the big event to persuade world leaders to take action, please go to the Big IF in London’s Hyde Park on Saturday 8th June.”
Compere Myleene Klass said:
I know that we can put an end to world hunger and the Big IF London is going to kick start that. I urge everyone who can to come down. I want to see thousands of people joining me in London to tell the G8 leaders from around the world, loud and clear, that there’s enough food for everyone IF they make the right decisions.”
Eddie Izzard said:
Time is running out for the millions of children who die because of hunger every year. Soon, David Cameron and other G8 leaders will meet to decide the fate of millions. When people made enough noise, politicians were forced to end apartheid. Politicians were also forced to abolish slavery and to give women the vote. Now is the time for politicians to end hunger. There is enough food for everyone, IF we make a big enough noise to shake the G8 to act. Come to The Big IF event in Hyde Park London on the 8th June, and help us make a big enough noise to save millions of lives.”
Big IF London will kick off IF’s 10-day campaign in the lead up to the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on 17th – 18th June. The crowd will call on world leaders to tackle four big IF’s which could help create a world free from hunger:
· IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land, and we grow crops for food, not fuel.
· IF governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries, so millions of people can free themselves from hunger.
· IF governments and big companies are honest about their actions that stop people getting enough food.
· IF we give life-saving aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families feed themselves.
The day promises to offer something for everyone, with interactive areas set up throughout the site. These will include a children’s area with professional story-tellers, hat and kite making classes and drawing lessons. There will also be dedicated areas for YouTubers and bloggers where people will have the opportunity to meet YouTube sensation Charlie McDonnell (Charlieissocoollike). Those keen to find out more about the campaign will be able to debate issues and there will also be a ‘Make IF Happen’ area with busking, spoken word and fun photo opportunities.
Hopefully I will be in one of those sessions for bloggers and will be finding out more, and how we can help.
IF enough people come together in Hyde Park to create a big noise about hunger, G8 leaders will have to sit up and listen.
The Big IF London takes place on Saturday 8th June from 2pm-5pm in Hyde Park. For more event details and to sign up to the campaign visit Enough Food If