Students travel to D.C. for CARE
Issue date: 5/14/10 Section: News
The purpose of the trip to the CARE conference was to give hands-on lobbying experience to IAS students in real meetings with Congressional and Senate staff members. After a day of preparation, working with CARE staff and listening to roughly 60 speakers, the students were educated and prepared in matters ranging from CARE initiatives and policies, legislative issues, personal humanitarian experiences and current CARE projects.
Some highlighted speakers include the first lady of Mozambique, Maria da Luz Guebuza, the wife of the Prime Minister of Kenya, Ida Odinga and the Republic of Sierra Leone's first lady, Sia Nyama Koroma, as well as United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
"Hillary Clinton was boss, I love Hillary Clinton," Lydia Pappas, an IAS sophomore, said of the speakers presenting at the conference. "She really is a great speaker. She just came across so passionate and so emphatic in her support for what CARE stands for, and she is really knowledgeable about these issues having worked on them herself."
Maggie Deptola added, "It was really interesting to meet the wide variety of people who support CARE. For instance, my group leader was a former nurse who cared passionately about breast-feeding and its direct correlation to infant and maternal mortality."
According to the mission statement posted online, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty that places special focus on working alongside underprivileged women. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters in addition to helping people rebuild their lives.
An important aspect of this conference was to listen to the personal experiences of both those who worked for CARE and those helped by CARE's efforts. Goretti Nyabenda of Africa, one of CARE's 'I am Powerful' award winners, was an abused mother of six whose husband prohibited her from leaving her house or receiving visitors. She rose above her situation to become an owner of a store, independently providing her children with food and education. Nyabenda utilized CARE's micro-financing strategy; this strategy helps to set up a networking and loan system in rural villages.