International Aid educates students, helps global community

Liz Smith
Asst. Sports Editor

International Aid is organizing a Global Aid Forum in March to educate students about opening nonprofit organizations and inform them about international issues.

The club supports organizations around the world that focus on humanitarian relief, particularly for women and children.

“Our big event each year is the Global Aid Forum,” club co-head Elena Dudum said. “We allow them to talk about their experience and their successes and struggles. Hopefully the speakers will inspire students to get involved or support in some way.”

Students can buy merchandise from an organization, tell their parents or donate money to help a cause according to Dudum.

“This is really important, especially for high school students who tend to get caught up in their own lives and forget that there is more than just what they are doing and there is a change they can make,” Dudum said.

Dudum emphasizes the importance of action that comes along with being a member of the club.

“I want to get the members to be less talk and more walk,” Dudum said. “We want them to start participating and realize that supporting these groups is more than just donating money.”

Club members are organizing the Honduras Literacy Drive which will collect books to children in need. Seniors Kiara Molina and Anjali Shrestha, who are heading the event, encourage students to provide reading materials for a newly-built Honduran library, promoting literacy in the local community.

“Students get to feel like they are a part of something,” Molina said. “They know that they are helping people become more educated by offering educational tools. They are helping people in need who live in marginalized towns, and [students] who participate know that their efforts are promoting literacy and making the Honduran people want to read.”

International Aid has lent support to organizations like Amnesty International, the Global Fund for Women, Lend for Peace and Invisible Children as well as the American Anti-Slavery Organization in the past.

“I believe it’s an educational experience,” faculty advisor Theresa Padden said. “Being part of this club allows our students to feel empowered to do something. Here, they have a voice, a significance.”

Club members not only help women and children around the world, but also gain new perspectives through the experience according to Padden.

“We want to create global citizens,” Padden said. “It’s altruistic. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the more you’re capable of affecting change. All of this work is a constant process.”

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