Hunger Strike 2024


Space is limited! Register today!

During the Hunger Strike weekend retreat, participants learn to identify with the poor around the world and in our own communities while gaining a deeper and more personal understanding of our Orthodox faith.

Retreat participants fast for 30 hours while they participate in activities to raise awareness for the needs of those in developing countries and in our local community who suffer the effects of poverty and who hunger for the hope found in Christ. This year we’re starting with a Tanzanian breakfast before we begin our fast together. We’ll be building our own village and learning about life in rural Tanzania with some of our games and activities.  We’ll also learn how to make Kollyva (the boiled wheat used for memorial services).

We’ll also have a chance to meet our Tanzanian Orthodox brothers and sisters via Skype before Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning!

The Goal: Love Your Neighbor

An important part of Hunger Strike is helping those in need. Participants do that by raising funds for those in need and serving those in need. Over the years, Hunger Strike has raised more than $100,000 to provide food to hungry people, necessities to rural communities, medical supplies to medical clinics, and water wells in rural villages throughout Tanzania. This year the funds that the teens raise will benefit St. Paul’s Mission Is Possible in Tanzania by sending deserving students to school and supporting FOCUS-OC.

Education is not a right in many developing countries. Sound strange? Maybe, but education is not a guarantee in Tanzania. In truth, many students never go to Secondary School in developing countries (the United States’ equivalent of High School) because public school is not free! So, one of the greatest things we can do is educate a student. Truly, the best way out of the cycle of poverty is to give someone an education.

Last year, Hunger Strike teens provided 61 scholarships to deserving students in Tanzania. So, again this year Hunger Strike participants will raise funds to benefit St. Paul’s Mission Is Possible in Tanzania by sending deserving students to school. Hunger Strike efforts will also support those closer to home through FOCUS Orange County.

We’re challenging Hunger Strike participants to raise at least $600 to help a deserving Tanzanian student achieve their dreams of an education and to help support those in need here in Orange County. All Tanzanian scholarships will be based on need and academic achievement. Grade maintenance will be required to retain the scholarship. Funds will also help support FOCUS-OC meet the needs of the working poor in Orange County, California.

How to Register

Step 1

Step 2

Download, complete, and sign the waiver forms available here.

Step 3

Begin your fundraising. Get all the information you need to fundraise in the Student Guidebook.

Step 4

Collect donations. Use the Donation Form and Receipt Book available here.

Step 5

Bring completed waiver forms with you when you arrive at the retreat along with your fundraising information and any donations you’ve collected.


Help us raise funds

Save Lives. Feed Your Faith. Love Your Neighbor.

Why Strike?



Most people are “plugged in” to their social media sites, spending hours a day engrossed in the constant stream of information, entertainment, and images that our phones and computers churn out. Ironically, being “plugged in” to Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, we run the risk of becoming disconnected from family, friends, our faith, and even reality. Hunger Strike is the perfect opportunity for young people to “unplug” and get connected to what is most important, especially during Great Lent.

Teens will learn about the plight of the needy and poor in developing countries and even here in the United States. They’ll learn about those who hunger for hope, which we know is found in Christ. They’ll learn about how we, as Orthodox Christians, are called to go into the world (Matthew 28:19). To love our neighbor (Matthew 25:35) and to be a light in the world (Matthew 5:15). We are called to make a difference. Hunger Strike participants will also learn about Orthodox Christianity in a more personal and real way and experience the responsibility of belonging to the universal Church.



Standing up for what you believe in…for what is right…takes courage and strength. Hunger Strike participants will inspire their families, their neighbors, and their parish with their efforts to change the world around them and the lives of those around the world.

Fasting isn’t anything new to Orthodox Christians around the world. Fasting allows our hearts and minds to seek out that which truly nourishes us, Christ’s love, and is a tool as we grow closer to Christ in repentance and humility.

Most Hunger Strike participants will strive to fast from all food during the retreat in order to experience the fullness of the fast, to experience hunger firsthand, and to get a glimpse of life without food…at least for a day!

By participating in Hunger Strike, teens will have the opportunity to grow spiritually and connect emotionally, physically, and mentally with those around the world who live in vastly different circumstances.

primary school-age children are still denied the right to education
226 million children do not attend secondary school
can send a student to a secondary boarding school for a year!
children who die EACH DAY from hunger alone
can feed a child in a developing country for a DAY!


Contact Carolyn Kouracos through the parish office at (949) 733-2366
or by email at

You can also reach out using the button below and a member of the Hunger Strike team will get back to you.