Those of you that know me well know that I've been pretty involved in The ONE Campaign over the last few years. It's a cause that is really important to me, and I thought I would take this free time that I have (Spring Break, whoo!) to tell you more about it.
Back in 2005 I went to a Coldplay concert for a friends birthday, and there was a booth there about the ONE Campaign. I had heard about it before, and had definitely seen the commercials (who doesn't stop what they are doing when Brad Pitt comes on your television?) but wasn't really sure what it was about. I'm guessing that some of you don't either.
The ONE Campaign is a grassroots campaign committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease. Yes, we are particularly focused on Africa, but No, Africa is not the only place this is occurring. South America, Asia, parts of Europe...extreme poverty is everywhere, but there are things that we, as citizens of the United States and citizens of the World, can do. The ONE Campaign supports protecting families from preventable diseases like AIDS and malaria, putting kids in school, providing economic opportunity and stabilizing communities. To help ensure the policies we advocate are effective, we seek advice from leading African anti-poverty campaigners and policy experts. [Shut up, I stole this from the website.]
I'm sure most of you are thinking, ok, SO WHAT? Well, I get that. There is only so much that you can do sitting at a computer at your home (where ever that may be), but that's kind of the point. The ONE Campaign is about activism, not about how much money you can donate or whether or not you can fly yourself to Africa and hand out mosquito nets and ARVs. It's about adding your voice to the cause. Voices are noticed, you guys, trust me. The ONE Campaign has already experienced it.
I'm posting this here because we all have an amazing opportunity. The Campus Challenge (a part of the Campaign where students can gain points for their school by taking certain actions [go to www.one.org/campus/recap to find out more]) is at its "finals week." The 08-09 Challenge is over, but we have a major opportunity to get a head start on recruitment for next year.
We can't acquire any more points right now, but we can certainly meet and create ideas, right?
All I'm asking you guys to do is look at the website. I want
you to sign up, but I'm not going to ask you to put your name on something that you don't believe in. If you've already signed the petition, great! Still check out the website, and spread the word. I know most of you don't live anywhere near me, but I also know that a lot of you have schools that are involved. Cal, Davis is a City of ONE (and UC Davis is in the Top Ten), and San Francisco State also has a group, since I know you're headed there. Skye and Kate - Columbia has a small group, but no campus leader. Kate, Temple has a large number of people signed up. It's easier than you guys might think to get involved. I know you're all busy, but the cause is important.
Please. We have such an opportunity. We are lucky, you know, to be living in the United States and going to college. Most people in Africa don't have those opportunities. Will you join the cause? Go to www.one.org/campus and search for your school!