ONE is an international organization with over 2 million members worldwide. But to Drake University, it is a new student organization with about 15 members so far.
ONE was co-founded in 2004 by Bobby Shriver, chairman of RED and co-founder of DATA, and Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of RED. Its mission is to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease. It does so by working closely with African activists and policy makers to raise public awareness and pressure political leaders to support smart and effective policies, according to one.org.
“5,500 Africans dying a day of AIDS, a preventable, treatable disease is not a cause. 5,500 Africans dying each day is an emergency,” Bono wrote in a blog entry on ONE blog.
According to one.org, due to programs started by the ONE campaign, nearly 4 million Africans have access to life-saving AIDS medication, up from 50,000 in 2002. Malaria-related deaths have been cut in half in only two years and 42 million more children are now attending school.
The fundraiser club was brought to Drake this fall, making Drake one of over 100 universities across the U.S. to have a ONE club. Elsa Becker, a Drake junior and member of ONE, started a ONE group with her friends when she was in high school.
“I was very surprised to see the club at Drake when I went to the activities fair this fall,” Becker said. “Since I had such a success working with the organization in high school, I was eager to join the club at Drake and begin working with ONE again.”
The group is working on getting members since it is such a new organization.
“We are looking for anyone to join,” Becker said, “even if they are just learning about ONE.”
Students can help by attending fundraising and awareness events the club puts on. Saturday, the club raised money for Water for Life with a Clean Cause Concert at Mars Café. All proceeds went to water.org, a nonprofit organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries, according to its website.
Katie Bell, a Drake sophomore and member of ONE, ran the club’s event at Mars.
After Thanksgiving break, the club will be selling beaded jewelry in the Olmsted Center breezeway made by a group of African women.
“The jewelry can make a great gift for the holidays while supporting a worthwhile cause,” Becker said.
ONE will also be promoting AIDS Awareness Month in December and is working with the African Students Association to promote its Dec.1 Dance-off 4 AIDS. The Dance-off 4 AIDS will raise funds for Peak 4 Poverty, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate orphans and vulnerable children who are affected or infected by AIDS or HIV, according to its website.
For more information on the ONE campaign go to www.one.org. To join ONE at Drake, attend a meeting Sundays at 9 pm in the Olmsted Center Conference Room or contact Colton Davis.
Issues affecting global poverty:
Water and sanitation
Maternal and health care
Trade and investment