Thu, Nov 25, 2021 8:40 AM

Bonnie’s big mission to change the world

Bonnie Hughes has had her story published in the World Vision book ‘Girls who dared to dream.’ Photo: Jonty Dine

Jonty Dine

Bonnie Hughes is on a mission to change the world and is starting with starving children in sub-Saharan Africa.

The 12-year-old knows how lucky she is to have food every day and she says it’s unfair that others don’t.

So, she set about feeding as many hungry children as she could.

Through articles and speeches, Bonnie helped raise awareness with the students at her school of the daily struggles children in Africa were facing.

“They seemed pretty shocked.”

When World Vision came asking the school if there would be a student ideal to lead a campaign for social change, Bonnie’s name was quickly put forward.

The teacher’s said Bonnie “loves leading and jumping into opportunities,” and after she met with World Vision representatives, did not hesitate to offer her help.

“I knew I really wanted to help with this,” Bonnie says. “I knew that there were lots of people in the world who did not have life very good and who were struggling but I didn't know it was that many and I wanted to make a difference.”

After making students aware of the crisis, Bonnie put on a bake sale and casual clothing day, raising more than $5000.

“I was pretty stoked with that.”

Bonnie also encouraged as many classmates as possible to get involved in the 40-hour famine which saw students give up everyday comforts for 40-hours.

Among the challenges were no technology, no talking, being tied to a friend and, in Bonnie’s case, no furniture for 40-hours.

The young advocate’s mission is far from over as she sets her sights on her next act of altruism.

Before she lands her dream job as Prime Minister, though, she is determined to raise more money for Africa.

Her next mission is to raise funds for the World Vision Smiles programme to provide a community with clean water.

Inspired by her actions, World Vision put Bonnie’s journey into story form.

The international charity published a book title ‘Stories from Girls who Dared to Dream’ in which Bonnie’s story is told.

It’s been produced as part of the ‘1000 Girl’s campaign,’ to help make a positive impact on some of the most vulnerable people in the developing world – girls.

Well-known Kiwis including Clarke Gayford, Helen Clark, Toni Street and Jenny-May Clarkson have each been reading a story from the colourful storybook on their social channels each night over the past week.

Bonnie was incredibly proud to see her story, which also comes with a full te reo Māori translation.

“I thought it was perfect. It showed one girl can make a difference and hope it inspires others to do the same.”