Interview

EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development, Phil Hogan, tours the 'Family meal - What Brings Us Together?' photo exhibition with Evin Joyce from Rosenallis, Co. Laois, who works for from the United Nations World Food Programme
A Rosenallis man is currently trying to raise awareness of world hunger with a photographic exhibition showing pictures of impoverished familes eating together.

A Rosenallis man is currently trying to raise awareness of world hunger with a photographic exhibition showing pictures of impoverished familes eating together.

Along with a photographer, Evin Joyce from Glenbarrow travelled to five different countries in crisis.

“The family meal is one event that should happen every day, and although people will say they haven’t time to sit down together, it’s something that shouldn’t be prevented because of a lack of food,” Evin explains.

Evin is currently working with the World Food Programme, who send humanitarian aid to countries in crisis. He came up with the idea about 18 months ago.

“The pictures show that we can make a difference, it’s not to show the misery of the people, but I wanted them to be a reminder of what we have in common.”

So how does a young man from Rosenallis end up working with some of the world’s most impoverished people?

Evin explains: “I always wanted to find out more, to keep asking why. I always had a desire to travel and once you start you realise there is a big world out there to explore.

“It’s my job to make sure the information gets to where it needs to be from the countries in crisis to the politicians and the people.”

Evin continues: “A good example of getting information moving was in the Central African Republic where I travelled to last year. There was one million people in urgent need of food assistance. They were in crises and thousands had been killed.”

There is also a lot of danger associated with James’ position.

“When we went to the Central African Republic, we arrived the day before a big attack that 15 people were killed in.

“For the first week we had to stay bunkered up and we could hear the gun fire at night.”

James continues: “There is a significant amount of danger, but not enough to stop humanitarian aid getting through.

“We have security protocols, but the best insurance is just to explain who you are and what you do, that you are unarmed and impartial.”

The former Clonaslee VS student says there is one common denominator that links everyone together.

“Every place you go is so different, but yet some things remain the same. One of those things is a child smiling and playing.

Evin continues: “The other is the basic needs of people - the need for food, nutrition and healthcare.”

So far the photographs have been displayed in Dublin Airport, Brussels, Lisbon and Madrid.

Evin also presented it to EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentPhil Hogan in Dublin Airport.

“It’s bringing a simple message to people and so far it has been really well received,” Evin added.