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Green: One World

A global campaign to end to end poverty reaches ASU's main campus

 by Benjamin Horowitz
 published on Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The ONE Campaign is working to fight extreme poverty and the devastation caused by diseases like AIDS and malaria. Look for members on campus wearing white bracelets./issues/arts/694091
Shaina Levee / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
The ONE Campaign is working to fight extreme poverty and the devastation caused by diseases like AIDS and malaria. Look for members on campus wearing white bracelets.
 

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It was a class on globalization and human rights that inspired justice studies major Laurie Nelson to start the Human Rights Club.

"I didn't want to lose the momentum I had gained from that class in terms of understanding human rights as a political issue," says Nelson.

Enter the ONE Campaign. The ONE Campaign is an initiative started by several national and international nonprofit organizations and is part of a larger global campaign to force world leaders to acknowledge the importance of fighting extreme poverty and the devastation of diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The goals of the campaign are closely tied to the eight Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations, which aim to reduce the number of people in poverty, increase education, environmental sustainability and the access to fundamental human rights.

Building off of the campaign's success at ASU West, Nelson thought the ONE Campaign's solid foundation would be a good place to start, though she says she has no illusions about its impact on what she feels can be an inactive public.

"It has to go beyond just raising awareness," she says.

The club plans to volunteer at tables across campus, hand out literature, get petitions signed and educate anyone who decides they want a snazzy white bracelet.

Nelson isn't alone in her efforts. As a local representative working with the ONE Campaign, Tamera Zivic, executive director of the locally-based organization World Hunger Education, Advocacy and Training (WHEAT), agrees the importance of the campaign goes beyond raising awareness. She says it speaks to a growing trend of compassionate Americans attuned to global affairs, who feel isolated by a lack of organization or media attention -- a feeling she had personal experience with this summer when she attended the G8 summit. Zivic went with three other representatives from Arizona and says that the media didn't seem to care that they traveled across an ocean to represent the viewpoint of thousands of concerned Arizonans.

Zivic also believes the campaign is important because by not focusing on one particular aspect of poverty, it helps demonstrate the interconnectedness of several factors surrounding hunger issues. Living wage, debt relief, fair trade and health services are inseparable from the broader scope of poverty, and they all have as much of an impact here as they do abroad, she says.

"The same things that happen globally happen locally," she adds.

As with the global issues, Zivic says there are a growing number of people positively impacted by things like local fair trade who aren't represented in the press.

"It's not just about signing petitions," says Zivic. "People can say, 'Hey, I'm not alone.'"


THE UNITED NATIONS' MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty:

Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day or suffering from hunger.

Achieve universal primary education:

By giving all children the opportunity to complete a full course of primary schooling.

Promote gender equality and empower women:

By getting rid of gender disparity in all levels of education.

Reduce child mortality:

Reduce the mortality rate of all children under 5 by two-thirds. According to the U.N. Statistics Division, in 2003, the infant mortality rate in Afghanistan in 2003 was 165 per 1,000 live births, compared to seven per 1,000 in the United States.

Improve maternal health:

Decrease the maternal mortality rate by three-quarters. Mortality rates are estimated as high as 2,000 per every 100,000 live births in some countries.

Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases:

By halting and reversing the spread of such diseases.

Ensure environmental sustainability:

Reduce by half the proportion of people without access to sustainable drinking water and significantly improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.

Develop a global partnership for development:

Encompassing all aspects of continuing development of the least-developed countries in the world, including debt cancellation and policies to promote economic growth.



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