Darfur Fast for Life

We fast in solidarity with the hungry and starving in Darfur and for lasting peace in Sudan

Share your own fasting experience here

April 21, 2009 By: Admin Category: Share fasting experience


For those fasting in solidarity with the people of Darfur, we encourage you to share your experience here by leaving comments.

31 Comments to “Share your own fasting experience here”

  1. I completed my water only fast today and used hunger as a tool for remembrance, prayer, and intentionality. In reading through the site here, just found myself crying. And thinking of some of those in the camps too sick or traumatized to cry. And the ones who never made it to the camps. . . . yet, I am hopeful . . . for what is still possible. Never again. Never now.

  2. Peter Mursak says:

    When one feels empty, true compassion and love fulfills.

  3. Najam Haq says:

    Beginning second day water only. Hunger comes in pangs that last about 15-20 minutes. About 3-4 times in the day, then subsides, leaving a sort of quiet inexplicable contentment in its place. It woke me up around 2:00 am, after which I couldn’t go back to sleep for several hours. Now a headache is refusing to relinquish its grip. Probably sleep related. Or maybe I am not drinking enough water. Or maybe it is the coffee that I didn’t have. Don’t want to take analgesics on an empty stomach, so I’ll just ride it out.

    But I am confident I’ll be okay. I think I can go the full 35 days, no problem. Things may get a little annoying, maybe even a little painful, but I know I can quit any time. I am all grown up, I don’t have any more physical growing to do. I probably won’t lose anything permanent. Not over the number of days I am committed to fasting. I also have fat stored in my body from having lived in relative abundance for years. I can live on that for a while. And if things get too bad and out of control, we’ve got good hospitals around. I know I’ll be all right.

    The children of Darfur aren’t so fortunate. Malnourishment at early age leaves permanent marks. Physical. Psychological. When and if a child survives a world that is so thoroughly un-nourishing, how will this child look upon that world as an adult? Today my thoughts go out to the children of Darfur. They deserve better. I hope they get that before it is too late (for them and for us).

  4. Kara Hernandez says:

    I didn’t realize how tired these refugees are. I have been studying for finals and I feel so sluggish. If I feel faint I eat some matzo bread.

    I don’t know how the UN can think a person can live off 1100 calories. Especially since they are giving less than that for an entire family. The mothers of Darfur are what keep me going.

  5. Choice.
    I have a choice.
    They do not have a choice.
    My heart breaks with sadness.
    I offer my hunger and tears as
    a sacrifice. I pray.
    Day 2.

  6. last night was the absolute worse night. i definitely felt weak. I kept thinking what a horrible feeling that has to be not knowing where your next meal would be coming from. boy, you just don’t really understand until you are there. and all you think about is food.
    your mind is consumed with it. i wondered if the refugees even think about it anymore, maybe it’s just me, I am weak. Even with the refugee rations I don’t know how these poor people walk around. It is just so incredibly sad and unnecessary. I thought about how the people responsible for it can sleep at night?

  7. Stephen & Alysha says:

    Day three, has been more difficult for my wife and I as weakness, headaches have set in. Even more we are less inclined, or lack the motivation to effectively communicate. Further, my wife and I have major mood swings as a result of our fasting. A continuous cloud hangs over us as we try to stay focused on family, work and school. Also, with the smallest child growing we are constantly feeding him, and it plays havoc on the hunger meter.

    Realizing that food is so close, makes it difficult to sustain will power, but one thing that has worked well for my wife and I during this fast, is that we hold each other up during the hardest times. I do have to admit that this is more difficult than I ever thought. The ability to function is difficult, but my wife has stipulated that her mind and spirit are in Darfur. That is the purpose…and has helped us to sustain.

    The camps and displaced have been our constant conversation, the questions that continue to arise about awareness, support, voices… The never ending why/how questions….

  8. Emily Goldner says:

    Fasted on rations again today. It was harder this time – the experience was not so novel anymore, plus we had just bought groceries into the house. I had to distract myself all day, but strangely enough I could barely bring myself to eat the bread I had made out of the cracked wheat. I’ll have to try some other way of preparing it.

    Even though I was hungry, I reminded myself of why I was fasting, and got through OK. Because whenever I thought I was hungry, I remembered that millions live on this food day in and day out for years on end – without “off” days or the ability to have something else if they wish.

  9. Najam Haq says:

    Half way through day 4 of water only. I am definitely in ketosis mode, where the body is basically “eating” its fat. Hunger has pretty much disappeared. Weird taste in the mouth, breath smells bad (a side effect of ketosis). Insomnia seems to be a symptom also (it wasn’t the last time I did this, so that may be peculiar to my biochemistry, or may be a function of age). But my energy level is up, I feel focused, everything feels sharp. This is the brain living on ketones instead of glucose.

    This “high” state is strictly temporary. It will only last as long as body’s fat supply lasts. The length of this stage varies for different people of course. It is a function of ones health condition, and how long one has lived in relative abundance, eating more than what the body needs, accumulating fat. A few weeks at most. Once the fat begins to run out intense recurring hunger pangs will return. That is the body saying “find some food, or you will die.” At this point the body will begin to consume muscles and other tissues. Long term damage will begin to occur. And death will eventually follow if food isn’t made available soon.

    If you notice from the pictures in circulation the refugees from Darfur aren’t exactly brimming with fat on their bodies. Even before this calamity hit them, in the best of times, they lived on subsistence level farming. They don’t have very much fat stored in their bodies. They are much closer to the final stages of starvation than we are likely to be here. Then there are the children, to whom an entirely different equation applies. They can’t afford to “fast” for even a few days. To starve for a few weeks even less. There is an emergency here the seriousness of which can barely be comprehended.

  10. Irene Barrett says:

    This is my day #3 on distilled water only. I felt dizzy, I have seen those cute tiny stars that fly arround, and seem like golden. It lasted just for a moment. Yoga helps. Maybe you wonderful people want to share what helps you go through the day of fasting when you feel funny, dizzy, hungry. In my mind, I think positive, I don’t watch comercials on food, no pictures or thoughts of comfort food, and I surround myself with the people who believe in me. When I feed my family, I think of it like a mother over there, she probably gives up on her portion of meel sometimes, so that her kids can have it.

  11. Stephen & Alysha says:

    It seems there was a change that happened last night………I am no longer consumed with hunger and thoughts of food, those have been replaced by hunger for knowledge and action. I am quiet today, a place of compassion……I want to act, I sent texts to Clinton, I sent press releases I am emailing my team mates, restuarants, FB…..but I am quiet, listening….I have read and been inspired by every blog, comment, story and experience. I feel connected to Darfuri’s, I feel as connected as if I were touching them. This will forever change me for the better, I will NEVER FORGET, I will forever be grateful for Mia’s bravity, courage, experience, and self sacrifice. I will forever be grateful to SGN for giving me the opportunity to push myself and my family, for helping me to empower and educate others. Yesterday I was unsure if I could follow through with my three weeks, today I know I will extend. today I will act, my son will act, my husband will act, tomorrow we will act and again and again. I am responsible for the Darfuri as a fellow human, how can I not acknowledge our interconnectedness, how could I sit and eat my dinner knowing that while doing so others are dying, sickness is spreading, starving children are in agony. I will act, educate and empower others to do the same. I WILL NOT QUIT….

  12. Barbara Tasco says:

    This is my third and final day with water only. That was my commitment, however I will fast one day a week from now on.

  13. Stephen & Alysha says:

    I am feeling hopeful today, I am watching people talk, ask and learn all around me. I am watching my calendar begin to fill with people wanting to educate themselves and I am watching the blogs, comments and the beautiful connections grow. I am hopeful that we will make a difference, I know that we will change things, I know that we will continue to educate, empower and act for those that need our voice. I am hopeful that as we continue to grow as a community and connect that we will succeed I am hopeful that all of us will not stop trying, empowering and educateing until we see change. We are committed to changing the status quo…….Thank you Mia, Thank you Gabriel/KTJ, Thank you John for leading and inspiring our community and beginning the change.

  14. Stephen & Alysha says:

    Our experience continues to be fulfilled with compasion for the Darfur people enduring this life situation. My wife and I find ourselves engaging more and more into creating awareness for Darfur people, and expanding our comittment to helping, and promoting help. The emotional state of mind is not about the physical impact any longer, it is about the attachment that has been cultivated to be a provider of fundamental survival for all humanity. Our bodies adapt, but it does not take away the emotional suffering associated with this process. We have a much deeper passion after this experience for recognition of the Darfur people, and what they may be encountering. However, we can never experience it as they have or do. The most important aspect of this fast, it to create more awareness not only personally, but societial, and maybe then action will occur, for the Darfur people.

  15. Marissa Jillian McClung says:

    so today has been day one I’m doing refugee rations but only had the cracked wheat so far… its 5pm. i noticed i forgot to email where i live lol, im in los angeles CA. I hope this gets the message through today i texted Mrs. Clinton and emailed President Obama, I’m working on a hand written letter right now. hope everyone else is still going strong, tomorrows day two for me, im going one week. I hope we can get aid back to the people of Darfur.

  16. Athalia Cailloux says:

    It is only the end of my first day of water only fast and I already got fainting spells.
    Now I can open my cupboard or go to the supermarket but if I was among Darfur refugees I wouldn’t be able to do that. I would have to try to live as if I had the strengh to do my daily chores even if I faint.

    I will give the water only fast another try when I have a day during which I won’t have to go to classes and be totally conscious and ready to learn (I have my exams soon).

    I really feel for the refugees and I will try to get things done on my modest capabilities.

  17. Liz Palmer says:

    Today I fasted rations only. I will do this for 4 days a week. I regret that I cannot commit to more, but have real life commitments that cannot be compromised. I hope that in spite of this, I have added some weight to this peaceful protest. I hope to inspire others, just as you have all inspired me. I think, looking at the calender, that I am one of the first to fast in the UK. I hope this changes. Soon. THe time has come to say ‘enough’, and to take action. I cannot stand by and do nothing.

  18. Beth Willow says:

    Day one of my fast, and already told quite a few people what is happening and some are interested in joining! Being so young its hard to do the rations at school, so I am more or less doing the full on fast, just water, and nibbling Ryvita when I feel like I am going to pass out. I am really beginning to appreciate the food that I normally take for granted, even simple things like an apple, or orange juice. Mia Farrow is incredible and Richard Branson, keep it up! Good luck everyone!

  19. Anon British Soldier says:

    Clock just about to strike midnight here in the UK….water only fast about to commence until 9th June. I have fasted before but only up to a period of 4 days. I think it’s amazing how many people are participating in this, and it has a real sense of purpose! I look forward to giving my pennies worth 🙂

  20. Anon British Soldier says:

    Nearly end of 1st day on water fast….feel fine, plus continuing my punishing daily exercise routine, half hour of resistance training followed by a 6 mile run. Not done the exercise yet, should be interesting! will post back later with results.

    A bit of advice for those people struggling on first 3 days of fasting, it gets a lot easier after day 3…the feelings of hunger will pass, your body can quite comfortably use its own bodyfat without any ill effects. I myself have been away on Military operations and not eaten for a couple of days, whilst undertaking intense physical activity. people in a normal state of health can live comfortably on your own fat stores, as human’s we are physiologically set up for this ‘famine’ response. Plus as most people have fat stores to spare a little discomfort is nothing compared to the people of Darfur, as they don’t have the fat stored to spare, there bodies are in an instant catabolic state, where the body is forced to utilize valuable muscle tissue. Think about this when you feel you need to break your fast…..stay strong everyone!

  21. I’d water only for two days. Physically kept the normal routine, but felt so many unusual feelings. More collected, sensitive, emotional, and all so thankful.
    The experience was rumbling. So thankful for the awareness, it awake my soul & my heart.
    Today I ate my first meal again, someone asked me if I had done anything exciting, my answer was Yes, I ate!
    Thank you every one that is participating in the Fast for life in Darfur.

  22. On Day 1 of my water only fast. Every time I even think of food, a face of a malnourished child pops into my head and the feeling of hunger vanishes. The apathy of the human race must end now. When explained to fellow students at my high school, no one seemed to really grasp the concept of this fast. I fast for the people of Darfur. They don’t have a choice.

  23. Day 2 of fast.
    Im having a hard time today, a lot of lightheadedness, irritability, and overall bad feeling. But I have to keep going, because the people of Darfur keep going. Peace to Darfur.

  24. fingley nyanhira says:

    Greetings,Awesome,how interesting.came across this advert on cnn. and i am gonna fast till friday for the peace of Darfur.Smashing gonna have fun.
    to the peace of darfur

  25. am on Day 1 of my fast.am praying without ceasing for the people of Darfur.I feel very sick this morning maybe because i slept directly under the fan last night.i need a lot of rest and i pray i will be okay by tommorrow in Jesus name.I am not relenting and no going back

  26. I’m on day 5 of my water only fast and feeling a little tired. While I am no stranger to fasting, I’ve done it in the past for spiritual and physical benefits, it’s a good feeling to do it for someone, or many someones, instead of just for myself.

    I don’t know if this is cheating, but I’ve found from past fasts, there is a simple solution to killing those awful hunger pangs and cravings. I work in a busy corporate office and stomach growls can be embarassing, so I use this simple technique before meetings.

    A few gulps of seltzer water. I don’t know if it’s the carbonation or what it is, but it will quiet the grumbling for a period of time so I can avoid drawing attention to myself.

    My fasting best is 12 days, so the 15 days I have committed to seems easy. I may extend it if my body, and physician, allows!

  27. Yasmine Kaidbey says:

    There’s an Ancient Chinese Proverb that says:
    “I hear…I forget
    I see…and I remember
    I do…and I understand”

    I have read a lot about Sudan and Darfur, seen a lot of documentaries, I have heard many people talking about the feeble peace, and the suffering displaced but after I have completed my first day of Water Only fast I came to understand an entirely different aspect of their suffering and daily struggles.

    I don’t think I can go on for 5 days on Water only (like I originally committed myself to),
    this is my second day and I already feel dizzy, weak, and feverish while the people of Darfur have been starving, getting raped, displaced and getting killed since 2003! This cannot go on, the international community is responsible in case a state fails to fulfill its responsibilities. The international community must do something to put an end to this humanitarian crisis, We must act now!

    I hope everyone will influence his/her friends or family to try to Fast for Life even if it’s just for one day, they will be surprised by the impact it leaves on them, I know I was.

    I will continue my fast but I will be alternating between liquids only and rations I guess. I wish I could do much more, the people of Darfur and of Sudan are constantly on my mind and deserve a much better life. My thesis will be dedicated to them, their suffering, and their undying hope and humour.

    Peace to all.

  28. Today is my third day of my fast (water only) I started on June 2nd. I will say the 1st day was the worst. It has gotten easier, but it is still very hard, I’m exhausted! I have had great support behind this which has been wonderful. People have said how hard this must be, but what I have realized and said is “I have a CHOICE, I made this choice not to eat, I can choose to eat at anytime, the people in Darfur do not have this same luxury.” Something must be done. This can not go on any longer. I have never been to Darfur, but I’ve been to other parts of Africa and something needs to be done NOW.
    I do hope that this helps to raise awareness and more people start to stand up for Darfur….only time will tell…..

  29. Catherine Corpeny says:

    I was going to begin my fast on June 20th when I was leaving for DC to lobby Congressional leaders on behalf of the LRA DISARMAMENT AND N UGANDA RECOVERY ACT. A very wise friend told me to hold a beat– wait for a time when I didn’t have to think, be sharp, or need energy. That turned out to be very sage advice. I ended up fasting the day I left DC on the 25th and thought I would do 5 days. I did three. Water only. I had never fasted before and the hunger pangs were painful and my thinking was blurred. My whole world became about how to transcend my feelings of hunger, and how much longer I had to wait until I could have food. The depth of my compassion grew for the Darfurian refugees. The last day of my fast I just tried to be still, tried to be in solidarity with those who were experiencing what I was experiencing except I got to stop after three days to a full refrigerator and they had to endure for months, years on end. Before I took my first bite of food after three days (that was supposed to be five) I said a prayer to all Darfurians, then cried. I will do my second fast sometime in August and continue my pledge to myself to not stop taking action in any way I can no matter how big or small until the genocide has ended. Catherine Corpeny

  30. Joanne Clarke, Gainesville, FL says:

    I joined the fast a month ago. I am only fasting one day at a time, each Monday. In a way, I never feel the pain, but it is recurring and brings the suffering to mind each week. Because I have ulcer problems, I allow myself milk when I need it to settle my stomach, but that and water is all I consume. Until this Monday, I had not really been hungry. Yesterday was a little harder. I was grateful that I could eat when I woke up this morning, which isn’t something I would normally even think about. I know forgoing eating is very different from having nothing to eat. But it does remind me of how many people in this world are hungry.

  31. Also, I plan on donating any money that I would have spend on food during this period as additional donations to the refugees in Darfur.