April 27, 2017
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Students in a global health course have raised more than $1,000 to support the building of fish ponds for communities in need.
In “Perspectives in Global Health,” a course taught by Associate Professor of Health and Environmental Studies Laurine Brown, students debate various health issues in regions across the world and propose possible solutions. Near the end of the semester, students select an organization to support and build an educational and fundraising campaign around it, according to Brown.
The class chose to partner with World Vision, an organization that works with impoverished communities in nearly 100 different countries. According to World Vision, one in nine people is chronically hungry worldwide. Hunger and poor nutrition often lead to premature death and impaired growth and development.
Through the funds raised by IWU students, World Vision will purchase the digging and stocking of three fish ponds for communities in need. Fish, as a source of food that grows rapidly and is high in protein, can greatly improve life in malnourished communities. It can also be sold for income.
Nicole Bukowski ’19, a member of the class, said that the fish pond program offers an innovative way of tackling hunger. “This program not only helps hunger but it’s stimulates the economy,” said Bukowski. “This campaign is different from anything we’ve done in past years.”
The students called their campaign “Casting Away Hunger: Helping Families One Pond at a Time.” They utilized social media, raffles, donation tables, and a special event they called “The Hungry Games” to raise funds.
Through campaigning, class member Victoria Drake ’18 realized students are able to make a big difference. “We can do a lot of good with a small amount of money,” said Drake. “It just takes a little bit of effort. I think the biggest takeaway I’ve had from the class, is just being aware of a problem and then really putting in the effort to make a difference rather than just watching it happen. It’s pretty rewarding.”
By Vi Kakares ’20