More than 2,000 people were camped out at the Aberdeen Sports Ground last night for the 30-Hour Famine to raise funds for starving children. The annual World Vision fasting event, which began in 1971, kicked off at 2pm. One family had driven all the way from Zhuhai in Guangdong to take part. "There is no similar event on the mainland," said Deng Xiaowen, 33, who was fasting with her seven-year-old daughter and even her four-year-old son - the youngest participant this year. "It is really meaningful. I want my children to learn that they should cherish what they've got, and care for those who are in need," she said. "They should experience the feeling of hunger, and learn the virtue of not giving up." Deng said she read about the fundraising event on the internet and thought it would be a good experience for her children. Also camping last night - and for the fifth year - was this year's top fundraiser, Ruth Yan La, who is in Primary Six. She dipped into her pocket money and signed up sponsors to raise about HK$16,000 for the event. "Taking part every year is a good reminder to [cherish what I have]. Sometimes it's easy to forget," she said. The fundraising target for the 30-Hour Famine in Hong Kong is HK$13.5 million, which will be used for World Vision's global food security and development projects. Twenty per cent of the local proceeds this year will go towards Syrian refugee projects. "[This] is only a starting point that unites us with the hungry and poor," Dr Rosanna Wong Yick-ming of World Vision said at the opening ceremony yesterday.