- Ryann Fromknecht,
President and founder of UNICEF at ISU
America has a great deal of power. With that comes the responsibility to aid those living in extreme poverty throughout the world.
That’s the message of UNICEF, a new chapter of which has recently been launched on the ISU campus.
The group aims to help highlight the social and humanitarian problem of extreme poverty, which is rampant across the globe. When such poverty is defined as living on a mere $1.50 per day, 1.4 billion people now fall into this category worldwide.
“UNICEF is an organization that looks at different social child survival issues.” says Ryann Fromknecht, Illinois State student and president and founder of the new chapter. "I really want people to realize that UNICEF is not just about asking for a donation, but more about finding practical ways to help.”
Ryann was prompted to establish UNICEF - the United Nations Children's Fund - at ISU after coming across The Global Poverty Project on the web. Her interest piqued, she set out to get their documentary,“1.4 Billion Reasons,” shown on campus.
“I wanted to see a screening of 1.4 Billion Reasons but there were none scheduled for this area, so I requested a screening and received a response immediately,” she said.
The documentary was shown on campus in April. It focuses on what nations in extreme poverty need in the long run to solve their economic problems. It counsels, for example, that aid must be effective long term. Teaching skills such as farming or paying for an education can make a lasting difference in an individual’s life and enrich that society as a whole.
The documentary also speaks eloquently of the need to promote gender equality - if females had equal opportunity it would have a major effect on the world’s economies and productivity – as well as showing that child mortality could be drastically reduced by accessible health care and clean water.
Illinois State student Raegan Larberg viewed the film and shared her thoughts. “I found it very interesting,” she said. “The solutions they brought up seemed feasible.
“It really makes you want to go do something, this documentary hits you on a human level. These are things we can actually fix.”
The underlying message of both UNICEF and “1.4 billion reasons” is clear – and challenging. This is the first time in history that we have the resources to actually end world poverty. We know what it takes, especially concerning child health care and technology. It’s up to our generation to get involved.
To save 1.4 billion lives.
If you would like more information on world poverty you can check out the Global Poverty Project’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GlobalPovertyProject?ref=ts
For details on joining UNICEF here on campus you can contact Ryann at firstname.lastname@example.org