More than 1,000 new commitments made, positively affecting more than 290,000 people; commitments are concrete plans to implement solutions to major global challenges such as climate change, poverty, human rights, education, health care, and the environment.
Commitments made by universities and national youth organizations worth $42 million
Miami, FL – President Bill Clinton announced that more than 290,000 people would be positively impacted by commitments made at the third annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting, taking place at the University of Miami this weekend.
"Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) members have shown that a few people can make a tremendous difference in the world," President Clinton said. "Whether they are distributing microloans, building community gardens, or teaching children about nutrition, the students here are dedicated to expanding opportunity for others. I hope that, when they return home, they will inspire others to follow their examples."
This year, students made approximately 1,000 new Commitments to Action, and universities and national youth organizations made 60 new commitments. A Commitment to Action is a concrete, measurable plan to make the world a better place.
The commitments made by universities and organizations will be worth approximately $42 million when fully funded, and will improve the lives of more than 290,000 people. In addition, commitments made this year will achieve the following results:
- More than 230,000 students and faculty will engage in awareness raising initiatives, which range from empowering students to fight cancer to helping students to green their own campuses and communities.
- 120,000 people with disabilities will have better access to health care.
- An estimated 7,000 students will be engaged as advocates to support 185,000 women survivors of war.
- 75,000 students will benefit from a better education thanks to an unprecedented number of concurrent school reform initiatives in Detroit.
- 2,000 families in Haiti will have emergency housing thanks to the efforts of university students in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
On Saturday, attendees will participate in plenary sessions on topics including The Future of Water, Innovation for Global Health, Poverty at Home, Human Trafficking, and Sustainable Transportation. Then, students will break into smaller groups for hands-on workshops on marketing, fundraising, and community engagement.
The event will close on Saturday at with a plenary session on Moving Forward in Haiti, featuring President Clinton, author Edwidge Danticat, Indianapolis Colts Wide Receiver Pierre Garçon, and HELP Scholarship Recipient Stanley Clermont. The discussion will be moderated by Michelle Norris, host of All Things Considered on National Public Radio.
On Sunday, President Clinton will join the students and Alonzo Mourning, founder of Alonzo Mourning Charities, for a service project at the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust’s homestead homeless complex, a community of approximately 500 formerly homeless individuals and families. Press who do not already have credentials, but wish to attend the service project, should email [email protected].
The following commitments will be announced on Saturday.
- Institute of Food Security and Poverty Reduction The Federal University of Vicosa will support the creation of the International Institute of Food Security and Poverty Reduction.
- The Greenforce Initiative: Advancing Green Careers This commitment by the National Wildlife Federation, Bank of America, and Jobs for the Future seeks to create regional networks of community colleges, employers, and workforce partners to prepare students for jobs in the green sector.
- Green Bikes Maren Gelle, Kayla Johnson, Sarah Carlson, and Daniel Novas commit to offer bike rentals for students on St. Olaf College campus. The goal of the project is to encourage a bicycle culture on campus, while reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. They will also work with the local community to donate bikes to Haiti to be used as bicycle ambulances.
- Books and Cooks! Syracuse University undergraduates Tim Biba, Gregory Klotz, Kate Callahan, and Allison Stuckless commit to launching a literacy and nutrition program – Books and Cooks – for children in low-income housing in Syracuse, New York. In addition to improving students’ reading skills, the students will teach workshops on cooking and nutrition.
- Community Solar Project This commitment by Shoreline Community College will install and maintain solar modules on the Student Union Building to produce 50 percent of the building’s energy.
- Tibetan Women’s Settlement Officer Training New York University student Michelle Pomeroy, in partnership with the Tibetan Women’s Association, commits to lead a two-week leadership skills course in India for exiled Tibetan Women. This course will train women in leadership, settlement officer responsibilities, conflict resolution, and gender sensitization to prepare these women to be elected or appointed as settlement officers.
- US Green Building Council: Equipping Generation Green USGBC commits to expanding its USGBC Students Program to 200 schools over the next five years, empowering students to green their communities and inspiring future green building professionals.
- Ocean Kids Kaitlin Birgenthal, Safia Alajlan, Kelley Winship, and Sara Johnson, undergraduates at the University of Miami, commit to expand Ocean Kids to Boston, Washington, D.C., the Bahamas, and Kuwait. Ocean Kids currently brings underserved elementary school students to the University of Miami campus to teach them about marine life and science.
- Breaking Taboos & Building Consensus on Campus One Voice Movement commits to provide a platform for students to address core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- Be the Key to Freedom Mark Svensson and Tarik Abdelqader, undergraduate students at Rockland Community College, have committed to helping combat the modern human slave trade in the U.S. by lobbying state officials in New York, and urging them pass a resolution which aims to stem the flow of enslaved people into the U.S. Each year an estimated 14,000-17,000 people are brought to the U.S. to be traded as human slaves with New York state functioning as one of the largest hubs for the U.S. slave network. In 2009, the legislature of Rockland County, New York, passed a memorializing resolution co-authored by Svensson and Abdelqader, and they plan to target other county legislatures as well.
- Financial Literacy Workshops for Somali and Somali-Bantu Refugees Bates College student Razin Mustafiz commits to create financial literacy workshops for the Somali and Somali-Bantu community in Lewiston, Maine. These workshops will cover the basics of financial planning, from opening a bank account to saving money for education. This commitment is supported by the Bates College Harward Center for Community Partnerships and the Adroscoggin Bank.
- FIU’s Hope for Haiti Florida International University (FIU) commits to utilizing a university-wide task force and university resources to rebuild infrastructure and address critical needs in Haiti, and support the Haitian Diaspora.
- Campus Microfinance Alliance This commitment by the Intersect Fund, the Capital Good Fund, and Elmseed Enterprise Fund will establish and support an alliance of student-led microfinance organizations and provide seed grants to create new groups.
- Sana Lab A Laboratory for Promoting Peace and Improving Access to Health Care in Resource-Poor and Conflict Areas in the Philippines Christopher Moses commits to developing a course called "Sana Lab," which would teach medical personnel and students in the Philippines how to develop and adopt a mobile medicine system for poor, remote locations. The curriculum will use a telemedicine system developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This commitment ultimately aims to extend medical care to the conflict-ridden area of Mindanao.
- Reusable Pads to Empower Women and Educate Girls St. Lawrence University student Grace Ochieng commits to expand the Pads for the People Project that Grace started in her village of Lwala, Kenya, working with the Lwala Community Alliance and 13 local women. Women who participate in this project are trained to sew menstrual pads and encouraged to sell them for a profit. Over the next six months, Grace will form partnerships and work to make the program more financially sustainable.
- Empowering Chinese Social Entrepreneurial Leaders (ECSEL) At the 2009 CGI Annual Meeting, the Schoenfeld Foundation made a commitment to hold a competition to select 30 young Chinese leaders working to creating economic growth in China, and support their attendance at CGI U. The students have also engaged in other educational activities related to social entrepreneurship.
- Energy Harvest Jun Wang is one of the 31 Chinese students chosen for the ECSEL program. Jun has committed to reduce CO2 emitted by vehicles, by utilizing market research and developing a business plan to sell energy saving devices for cars that will retain the heat and energy created by combustion.
- Walking-Aid Equipment Jingqi Zhang, another ECSEL fellow, is working to aid polio victims in the Dalian community by improving the design and distribution of a walking aid.
- Higher Education for Students with Disabilities The Golisano Foundation, the University of Rochester, Keuka College, and Roberts Wesleyan College commit to increasing access to higher education for students with developmental disabilities through peer mentor supports, community education, training and advocacy.
- A Sustainable Drinking Water Solution for Tumaipa, Suriname John Trimmer and Scott Teagarden, undergraduate engineering students at Bucknell University, commit to provide the 300 residents of Tumaipa, Suriname, with reliable, clean running water. They will construct a rainwater harvesting system that will provide enough drinking water for the entire town year-round. In addition, they will install a solar-powered pumping system that will provide the village with sustainable running water. Local labor and materials will be used in the construction of the rainwater catchment system, and a water committee will be established to take ongoing ownership for the project.
- Hippo Water: Improving Access to Water in India Cynthia Koenig, founder of Hippo Water International and a graduate student at the University of Michigan, in association with Hippo Water International, commits to expanding Hippo Water Rollers to India, providing Rollers to women and families. The Hippo is an innovative water transport tool designed to alleviate the problems associated with lack of access to water. The Hippo makes it possible to collect 24 gallons of water, five times the amount possible using traditional methods, in much less time and much more easily.
- Recording Our Dreams: Empowering Ugandan Youth through Music Production Makerere University graduate student Divinity Barkley commits to building an energy efficient recording studio for the Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association (AGYA) Learning Center, a community center she founded in Kampala, Uganda. This commitment will provide digital technology training to the Ugandan youth at AGYA, empower them to produce and market their own music, and serve as a source of revenue for AGYA’s arts and educational programs. The recording studio will utilize solar power for 35 percent of its energy.
- The Microfinance and Maternal Health Initiative of Kibera Wesleyan student Kennedy Odede, in conjunction with Shining Hope for Communities and American Friends of Kenya, has committed to empowering and educating women in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa. This commitment has two main parts; the first is a Home Birth Network, through which women will be trained as home birth attendants. The second is the Women’s Microfinance Empowerment Project. This project will use sustainable gardening techniques to grow vitamin-rich vegetables that will provide desperately needed sources of nutrition at affordable prices. Additionally, community women will sell chickens and eggs and will participate in a craft-making collective.
- iRead Books for Children in Developing Countries Purdue University student Keith Hansen will set up a foundation that will deliver childrens books to Indiana community health centers. As vice president of the Purdue Engineering Student Council, he oversees a group that puts on the largest student run job fair in the nation each year, bringing over 350 of the nation’s biggest engineering companies to campus and raising nearly $500,000 dollars every year. A portion of these funds will be used to set up the iRead foundation.
- Giving the Green Light Miami Dade College student, Ximena Prugue, commits to distribute 10,000 solar-powered lamps in India’s rural communities, in an attempt to eliminate kerosene lamp use. The D.Light Design Company lamps will be provided by Bogo Light at wholesale price, and Ximena will work with PTK Honor Society at Miami Dade to raise the money neccessary to purchase the lamps.
- The Science and Policy of a Renewable, Sustainable Future Sreeja Nag, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, commits to bring renewable, sustainable, and affordable energy to rural regions of India. After consulting local citizens, NGO representatives, and staff at Selco Solar India, Nag has created a report of ideas to bring energy to these areas. One example of her plans is to create detachable and portable lighting systems for students to carry home from a solar-powered charger at school.
- Soley Ini A youth-to-youth project in Cite Soleil, Haiti University of Miami students Kristina Rosales, Arielle Duperval, Austin Webbert, and Lissette Miller commit to establishing two new community centers in Cite Soleil, a slum located in Port-au-Prince. The community centers will provide education progams, cultural activities, mentoring, and opportunities for intercultural exchanges between the south Florida community and Haiti.
- Painting a Peaceful Present Khushbu Mishra, an undergraduate student at Mount Holyoke College, has committed to opening an Art Institute in Mithila, Nepal which will display and sell the cultural folk art of local women, empowering and improving the lives of their families. After its completion the center will be run by local women who will then go on to train other women in the arts, thereby expanding the reach of the program.
- Beyond Pride Public Service as Activism Ryan Olson has committed to helping the LGBT community establish a national online registry through which LGBT individuals and groups can identify and measure their participation in community activism. The initiative will work with 20-30 LGBT groups to establish a better understanding of the LGBT community, build a rapport with surrounding communities, and ultimately become a unifying force for activism within the LGBT community.
- Within Her Strength Jessica Yamane, an undergraduate student at the University of California-Riverside, commits to design an experimental course on how communities can promote healing for domestic violence victims. Partnering with Alternatives to Domestic Violence, Path of Life Ministry’s King’s Hall Transitional Housing Program, and With Her Strength, Jessica hopes to modify this curriculum for integration in K-12 health and wellness programs throughout the Riverside School District.
- Sewing for the Next Generation Christine Meling, undergraduate student at Luther College, commits to purchase the materials and sewing machines for women in Yari, Sudan, to make school uniforms for families who cannot afford them. The women will also receiving training on how to sew, and how to use the profits from uniform sales to sustain the sewing program.
- Gifts of Giving An Thi Minh Vo, in association with the Office of Genetic Counseling and Disabled Children, Hue City, Vietnam, commits to provide microloans of $212 to 35 families with children disabled by Agent Orange. The project aims to increase borrowers’ income and ease the hardship of families struggling to afford health care and other basic needs.
- Lack of Quality Affordable Health Care for Migrant Farm Workers University of the Pacific graduate student Harnoor Singh has committed to working with local physicians to provide free blood sugar and basic cardiovascular health screenings for California’s migrant workers, and to supply low cost prescription drugs to those in need. The tests, which can be completed for less than $15 per person, are of vital importance to California’s community of migrant laborers, the majority of which lack access to basic healthcare services.
- Removing the Barriers to Surgical Care Nathan O’Hara, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, in association with Makerere University and Vancouver General Hospital, has committed to supply Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, with 300 half-pins annually. Each year, there are unnecessary fatalities in Uganda due to a lack of vital medical supplies; half pins, which are used to treat traumatic injuries involving fractured bones, are one of these critical medical provisions. A collection system throughout Vancouver area hospitals will reprocesses the reusable half pins which will be delivered to Mulago Hospital twice annually.
- 3D Modeling of a Primary Health Care Clinic in Ho, Ghana Applications for Global Health Northwestern undergraduate student Lalith Polepeddi and GlobeMed have made a commitment to create 3-D representations of health clinics being constructed in Ghana. Currently in its second year, the project is now being expanded to develop three new models which will be displayed at 19 universities. A 3D clinic model can be built at almost no cost, facilitates engagement among students in the U.S., and helps remote stakeholders understand the layout and features of health facilities in the developing world.
- Fresh Produce, Fresh Possibilities Implementing SNAP at Local Farmers’ Markets St. Olaf College student Kristen Johnson commits to raise funds to purchase Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card readers for two farmers’ markets in Rice County. The EBT card readers will allow farmers’ markets to participate in the federal government’s food stamp program. This commitment, made in association with Growing Up Healthy, will increase access to fresh, healthy food in underserved communities.
- Digital Incubation Platform for Student Social Entrepreneurs Global Giving commits to help 150 student social entrepreneurs generate resources for their projects by utilizing Global Giving’s online platform.
- Universities for Ushahidi Tufts University doctoral candidate, Patrick Meier, and Tufts Crisis Mappers Director of Communications Carol Waters commit to train student volunteers at six universities on how to map crisis information during disasters and conflicts. This project will use Ushahidi software which enables users to submit real time information during disasters and conflicts and plots it on maps in terms of time and location. This information can help law enforcement and medical teams respond to disasters.
- Hens for Haiti: Feeding the Poor, One Egg at a Time Christina Newman, Sherley Codio and Fabrice Marcelin, students at Virginia Tech, in partnership with Caritas and the Religious of Jesus and Mary in Gros-Morne, Haiti, have committed to raise $60,000 and oversee the construction of a facility that will house more than 1,500 hens capable of producing 1250 eggs per day – 15 percent of the local egg supply. They have already raised $23,000 and developed a business plan for the project. This commitment will strengthen the local economy by reducing reliance on imports, and will empower local communities by providing much needed employment opportunities.
- Un Techo Para Mi Pais Construction of 2000 Emergency Houses in Haiti This youth organization commits to engage Haitian university students to build 200 emergency houses in Haiti.
CGI U is sponsored by Darden Restaurants, Inc., Dell, U.S. Global Investors, Inc., Walmart, and CGI U media partner mtvU. To learn more about CGI U, please visit www.cgiu.org.
# # #
Learn more about our work at http://www.clintonfoundation.org/about, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.