On Saturday, I went to London for the Big IF event in Hyde Park. I travelled up with my friend from church (who is also the children’s piano teacher) and another friend of hers. I really enjoyed the opportunity to have uninterrupted conversation with adults and so the train journey was quite relaxing. We took the tube to Lancaster Gate and walked through the park. It was a lovely walk on a beautiful sunny afternoon, and we saw a heron, some rabbits, swans and cygnets, geese, ducks and coots. I really must take the children there sometime, they would love it.
I was surprised that there were no signs about the Big IF at the entrance to the park and no stewards. There were so many people in the park who must have known nothing about it, which was quite a missed opportunity I’m sure. We did find our way there though, and walked through an area with food stalls and children’s activities before making our way to the front where the stage and screens were. I happened to meet a friend from a local home education group and she joined us for part of the afternoon, which was a good opportunity to catch up and chat. We were sitting in the blazing sunshine all afternoon and I was very aware that if I’d had the children with me we couldn’t have got close enough to hear anything as there was no shade anywhere near the stage. I exchanged texts with another friend (Jax) who had come with children and had to retreat to a tent at the entrance, so was unable to hear the talks. There must have been many parents in this situation. I did manage to catch up with her on my way out which was lovely.
So I know I was lucky to hear most of it, though we had to leave before the end. I heard Bill Gates, Danny Boyle and Satish Kumar, among others, and it was very inspiring. I did a bit of live tweeting, though it was tricky as lots of people were presumably doing the same, and some of my tweets failed to send. With hindsight a notebook and pencil might have been better for keeping a record. The most memorable part for me was Satish Kumar talking about the importance of farmers, especially women. He was eloquent on the subject of why we should pay bankers less and pay farmers more. “Is it more important to fiddle with figures than grow real food?”
The message of the day was clear. There is no need for hunger in the world. As Bill Gates said, “You are the activist generation. Tell leaders that a world where two million children a year die of hunger is unnacceptable.” Maybe thinking of the problem in such a huge scale is hard to comprehend. So think of one of those children. A child dying for no reason. Think of his mother. Think of her father. Think of the irreparable damage done to their world. It’s happening to two million families every year, and it doesn’t need to happen. You can do something about it.
Find out about the IF campaign here.