Our group of new ONE Student Leaders are ready to lead the fight against poverty after a weekend full of inspirational speakers, campaign workshops and even a trip to Parliament.
Student Leaders in the UK will use their energy and creativity to run inspiring campaigns at university to influence the decisions that affect the world’s poorest people.
At the weekend students came together from over 15 universities to learn more about ONE’s campaigns, prepare to take action over the next year and of course have fun!
We looked at how students can support our Thrive campaign and pressure world leaders to take action to lift 50 million people out of poverty and ensure 15 million fewer children are chronically malnourished. Creative ideas for eye-catching activities including apple-bobbing competitions and wearing giant sweet-potato suits!
We got active immediately on ONE’s campaign for transparency in natural resources by sending tweets to the UK Minister Norman Lamb urging the UK to lead on creating strong EU laws to help African citizens fight corruption and ensure their natural wealth is meeting the needs of the poorest. Joseph Williams from the Publish What You Pay coalition explained the importance of the UK’s role in the upcoming European negotiations and how crucial it is to get the detail right.
Two key aims for the Student Leaders are to build a bigger student movement and get their voices heard by politicians in the UK. So we split into smaller groups to learn and share ideas on how to build a student group and lobby local MPs.
Both our Co-founder and Executive Director Jamie Drummond and our European Director Adrian Lovett were keen to meet and talk to our top activists and they each gave their message about what ONE is all about and how we can make a difference together.
A real highlight on the second day came with our incredible panel to discuss ‘the beginning of the end of AIDs’. Dr Patricia Nkansah-Asamoah, from the Tema Clinic in Ghana, told us how she has seen with her own eyes that this bold ambition could be a reality by 2015 – we really can begin to see the end of this terrible disease. We were fortunate to also hear from activist Winnie Sseruma about the challenges of living with HIV and the importance of spreading the facts about HIV/AIDS to break down stigma.
But it didn’t stop there, because at ONE we don’t just talk about what we need to do – we go and do it. So we sped to Parliament for a lobbying event with a range of MPs and Peers with a special interest in development, including Andrew Mitchell MP, the Secretary of State for International Development, and Ivan Lewis MP, shadow spokesperson for the Labour Party. Our students put into practice what they had learned and put some tough questions to the panel and the Secretary of State in particular. We must have made an impression as the students were invited back for follow up meetings!
There was also plenty of time to get to know each other with a special ONE Pub Quiz and dinner.
This is just the beginning as ONE Students continues to grow in the UK. But we know we have a group of very talented and committed activists ready to make their impact in the fight against poverty.
If you’re a student in the UK you can sign up to ONE Students here.
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
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