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ONE campaigns for education, fights HIV/AIDS

ONE is a non-partisan, nonprofit grassroots organization, and its primary purpose is to advocate for the world’s poorest countries, especially those in Africa.

The national organization actually started out under the name DATA, which stood for “debt, AIDS, trade, Africa.” In 2002, DATA was founded by Bono and others, but eventually combined with other advocacy organizations to form ONE.  While ONE is a national organization, there are campus chapters of the organization all across the country, and one of those is at Drake.

ONE was brought to Drake’s campus last year by Colton Davis. Davis is a senior international relations major from Des Moines.

“I wanted to bring ONE to Drake because I knew this organization would be able to sustain itself,” Davis said. “There are a lot of motivated and active students on campus that will continue to make ONE a strong organization.”

Davis also noted that the recent addition of the global public health concentration showed that Drake students have an interest in the state of the world’s people.

“Being a ONE member helps us to become global citizens and shows that we are dedicated to helping eradicate poverty and preventable disease in order to make the world a more peaceful place to live,” Davis said.

ONE partners with many Drake organizations to help them with fundraising campaigns.  One of those is the FACE AIDS campaign. Members of ONE are selling FACE AIDS pins in the Olmsted Breezeway for $3 in order to raise $250, which is the amount it costs to send a child in Rwanda to school.

Education is one of the most effective way to prevent the spread of HIV and improve the quality of life. Sending children to school helps bring them out of poverty and educates them about ways to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We chose to support the FACE AIDS campaign because they are an organization that is specifically dedicated to fighting HIV and AIDS,” Davis said. “They are a group that motivates and empowers students to be active on campus and in the community, something that we as ONE admire.”

Other campaigns planned for this year include an agriculture campaign, “Bead for Life,” the second annual “Clean Cause Concert” and helping “Inspi(RED)” with its soccer tournament this spring.

This week kicks off the ONE challenge across the nation on college campuses. The ONE campus challenge awards points to campuses for participating in events and challenges throughout the year. At the end of the year, the college with the most points wins a grand prize. This year the winning school will be awarded a trip to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn.

ONE welcomes students to become members and participate in the group’s events throughout the year.

“Students can get involved by taking simple actions,” Davis said. “They can call and write letters to senators and congressmen, sign petitions and follow ONE on Twitter. The website is also a great tool to stay up-to-date on what ONE is doing nationally and internationally.”

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1 Comment

  1. Anisa Palmer October 4, 2011

    Students take action now!

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