Student group directs sights to fight poverty

KJ Hall

The WKU chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy has partnered with the ONE Campaign, an international advocacy and campaigning organization, to join the fight against extreme poverty.

One of the group’s efforts this semester has been a letter-writing campaign to Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell urging him to support funding for lifesaving programs, such as the Global Fund, that fight extreme poverty.

As defined by the World Bank, someone classified under extreme poverty lives on less than $1.25 per day.

“The Bowling Green community has been impacted by poverty,” Bowling Green freshman Nicole Camargo said. “We have seen homeless people around the square and have seen negative and insensitive responses to this coming from local newspapers.”

Camargo said it is important to realize that helping these people is essential for a better community.

The letter-writing campaign serves as one of the ONE Campaign’s campus challenges to get students more involved in helping those in poverty in both local communities and global communities. Each letter earns a school points. WKU is currently ranked in the top 30 schools in the nation for this campaign.

Camargo has worked alongside Louisville freshman Andi Dahmer. The pair serve as co-presidents of Americans for Informed Democracy, and it was Dahmer’s idea to revitalize the organization’s chapter at WKU this year.

“There are lots of political organizations on campus,” Dahmer said. “But AID is special because of its impact at both the local and global levels.”

Through AID and the ONE Campaign, Dahmer and Camargo have also spearheaded the letter-writing campaign at WKU.

The letters serve a dual purpose, according to Dahmer. The first purpose is to impact U.S. global development assistance, ultimately saving lives, and the second purpose is to educate the WKU community about AID and ONE.

Dahmer and Camargo have hosted tabling sessions in Gilbert Hall for the 

past few Wednesdays to write letters to McConnell.

ONE is an international campaigning and advocacy organization that fights against extreme poverty and preventable disease such as HIV and AIDS, Camargo said. She added that the campaign puts focus on students taking action and engaging with local politicians to have their voices heard.

Cofounded by singer-songwriter Bono, ONE strives to “raise public awareness and work with political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency so governments are accountable to their citizens,” according to the campaign’s website.

Dahmer and Camargo hope that through a vast amount of letters sent to McConnell, the senator will take action in Congress to support life-saving programs and bring up these important issues.

AID hopes to continue to partner with ONE in the future in their fight against extreme poverty. AID is unique because its platforms depend on the passion of its members, Dahmer said.

“Overall, we simply hope to make a positive difference in both the local and global community,” Dahmer said.

AID meets on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in Downing Student Union room 2122.