Leinster and Ireland full-back Rob Kearney was on hand recently to give his support to Concern Worldwide, Ireland’s largest humanitarian agency, who have launched its longest running annual fundraiser, the Concern Fast…

This year the Fast takes place on Thursday, December 7, when thousands of people will go without food for 24 hours to raise funds for some of  the poorest people in the developing world.

Rob Kearney said, “I’m delighted to launch the Concern Fast 2012. All the sponsorship money from this will help save children’s lives in some of the poorest countries of the world. I have met some of the people Concern work with and seen the real difference that their programmes make. Even if you can’t give up food, give up something else instead. It’s such a small sacrifice which can really make a difference to a child’s life.”

Each year pupils in over 300 schools nationwide give up food for 24 hours to help people who go hungry every day and this year there is a new and easy way for schools to sign up. Schools can go online and create their online profile www.concernfast.org. Students and teachers can share this profile on Facebook and the schools website to encourage sponsorship and participation.

Concern representatives will visit many of the participating schools to offer advice and tips on how to take part and suggest alternative ways to fundraise if fasting is not an option. While it isn’t recommended that primary students fast for 24 hours, they can certainly choose to give up something like sweets or television, have a non-uniform day or even take part in a sponsored bake off.

“The Concern Fast has always enjoyed phenomenal support from the Irish public and we hope to see this enthusiasm continue this year. It’s a challenging way to raise funds, but one that is always rewarding. By going hungry for just one day, you can help raise vital funds to provide life-saving food for malnourished children. We’ll also give them long-term support so they will be able to feed their own children in years to come,” said Ruth Craig, Fast coordinator, Concern.

To sign up for Concern’s Christmas Fast, apply for a Fast Pack or to simply get additional ideas on how you can raise vital funds for Concern, simply log on to www.concernfast.org or call 1850 50 50 55.