Students of Iowa State Bring Relief to Uganda Year After Year

iowa stateStudents of Iowa State have found ways to help those in need outside of the United States, specifically in Uganda. Elly Sukup, a junior at the University back in 2006 when the school made its first trip to Uganda. It was at this moment that for the first time she saw people truly hungry. The school since then has made it a point to go back every year to help those who need it most. Now in the programs 10th year, it looks as though the students of Iowa State University are making a difference. The program launched in 2004 thanks to the help of a $10 million endowment from alumni Gerald and Karen Kolschowsky.

The goal of each trip is simple: Create an alternative to drop-and-ditch philanthropy by forging sustainable programs with local residents. The program to date has helped over 10,000 citizens of Uganda. The program has helped build businesses, food security, keep kids in school and improve farming.

Some aid by the numbers thanks to the students of Iowa State include the following:

There are 5,200 school lunches served per week.

The calories provided in each lunch is now 850 after previously being 50.

There are 18 new well-watered systems now.

149 Ugandans are now enrolled in a youth entrepreneurship program.

For more on the progress of the Iowa State students, check out this article here.

Human Rights Day 2015

Dec. 10 marked the 65th anniversary of Human Rights Day. In 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, a declaration that enumerated a universal standard for the way that human beings should be treated. The declaration consists of a preamble and 30 articles. Additional Human Rights Covenants have been adopted in subsequent years. Although the Declaration itself is not a binding document, it has inspired more than 60 human rights instruments, which in sum have been a major part of forming an international standard on human rights

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Courtesy of History.com)

Human Rights Day was first established by the UN General Assembly in 1950. Each year, Human Rights day takes on a new focus. Focus in the past has been Human Rights 365 (the idea that Human Rights day should be every day) and My Voice Counts (which encouraged individuals to value and express their opinions) This years focus were the two Human Rights Covenants and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. The two covenants honored are the “International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights” and the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” both of which were adopted in 1966. Both of these covenants, in addition to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprise the International Bill of Human Rights

Originally stated in Roosevelt’s 1941 Four Freedoms speech to US Congress, these freedoms helped guide the nation through the darkness of World War Two by envisioning a better future where every human being had access to the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom from want and the freedom from fear. Eleanor Roosevelt, his wife, was a major player in helping FDR include his vision into the UN human rights documents.

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Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Courtesy of Huffington Post)

FDR’s four freedoms were later expanded upon by the U.N. Division on Human Rights around 1946. Canadian John Peters Humphrey was appointed as the first director of this division, which in turn formed a Commission on Human Rights. Designed to be representative of the international community, the Commission consisted of representatives from 18 countries from all continents (minus Antarctica). Eleanor Roosevelt chaired this organization, who at this time had outlived her husband.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon himself has stated that “today’s extraordinary challenges can be seen – and addressed – through the lens of the four freedoms.“

Secretary of State John Kerry has said that these freedoms, “are as relevant and compellilng today as they were when Roosevelt spoke almost three quarters of a century ago.”

In honor of Human Rights Day, the U.N. held a flower laying ceremony at Four Freedoms Park in Roosevelt Island New York.

Originally publish on CoreyEngelen.org