Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Look at Past Initiatives

Stand For: Yemen (Current Project)

The existing humanitarian crisis in Yemen deserves international attention. According to OCHA (Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), “Extreme poverty, volatile food and commodity prices, increasing cost of living, unemployment and a decrease in remittances, contributing to reduced access to food, basic services and livelihoods for millions of Yemenis both in urban and rural areas”, has created a humanitarian crisis leaving many Yemenis vulnerable. (OCHA, 2012). Not only does this economic instability affect Yemenis, but also many refugees who enter the country seeking political asylum and a hope for a better future. It is Stand For’s goal to highlight this crisis through the creation of a short documentary discovering how youth have been affected and what youth can do to spread awareness and make a difference. 

Stand For: Pakistan
In 2010 and 2011, provinces of Pakistan such as Baluchistan, Punjab, Kohistan, and Sindh, experienced heavy and devastating monsoon flooding. (WHO; Guardian). This left land damaged and the livelihood of many affected. Stand For: Pakistan had a threefold goal to discover the affect and magnitude of the floods, how the livelihood of the people and mainly youth were affected, and ways in which college students could help. In our quest for answers, we traveled to the Save the Children Headquarters in Westport, CT where we interviewed the retired CEO of Save the Children Charlie MacCormack and the Associate Director of Asia Operations, Erika Thrasher. In addition, a member of Stand For was afforded the exciting opportunity to attend the Islamic Relief Benefit Concert at the London O2 Arena where an interview with the Head of Islamic Relief Scotland, Habib Malik, also took place. Lastly, a Pakistani student from our college community shared his opinions about the affects of the floods and provided advice as to how students could spread awareness concerning such crises. An exciting campus outreach event that Stand For initiated was an awareness event in which members of the group dressed in traditional Pakistani clothing and handed out facts with candy to students and faculty members that passed by.