Two college juniors are taking action for the Millennium Development Goals:
Healthy Scholars build appetite for eradicating extreme poverty
From Episcopal News Service
Inspired by economist and professor Jeffrey Sachs, two college juniors are working to entice fellow students to pledge $1 a week to support the United Nations Millennium Goals and specifically to help eradicate extreme poverty in Africa. If their efforts succeed, they hope their Healthy Scholar Foundation model will spread to other campuses across the country.
The idea emerged at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where Max Bevan, a lifelong Episcopalian from New Jersey, and Kiyo Egashira of Washington state took a development economics class and read Sachs' book "The End of Poverty" while studying abroad last semester. They began talking about how much Sachs' book influenced their perception of the "poverty trap" in Africa and how "the way he approached the solution seemed feasible," Bevan recalled.
Many Africans use all their resources simply to survive, with no money left over for health care or education, he explained. So they need additional money fed into their economies to place them on the first rung of the development ladder, he said. "We were discussing how we could get involved."
"Max called me one night," Egashira said, "and said, 'You know, we go to a school of 3,000 people. If we can get them all to give a dollar a day, we can get hundreds of thousands of dollars every semester.' I said, 'I don't know if we can get a dollar a day, but we can definitely get a dollar a week,' and we just kind of took it from there."