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Third World Impact: Raising Awareness on Global Issues

March 16, 2009

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Four members of Third World Impact

Standing, Third World Impact Vice President Uzezi Obaro-Best and Treasurer Ana Maria Perez-Paulino. Seated, Public Relations Manager Misratu Saka and President Emmanuel Adomfeh. (Photo Mark Schmidt)      

A new student club takes the University at Albany's theme "The World Within Reach" to heart. Third World Impact (TWI), a global outreach group, has grown to about 50 members since it started last semester.

"Awareness and interest in global issues seem to be growing on campus," said President Emmanuel Adomfeh, a sophomore biology major from Clifton Park whose parents are from Ghana.

Through Facebook, MyInvolvement.org, and word of mouth, TWI has gotten the word out on campus about its purpose and activities.
The group has hosted programs with Return Peace Corps Volunteers, speakers from the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), and UAlbany students who have volunteered in several African countries.   

The group draws students from a wide range of majors, including globalization studies. Last semester the group hosted a program with Sigma Iota Sigma Multicultural Sorority Inc. on the global epidemic of child slavery, and is organizing a new one on the presence of refugees in Capital Region communities.

Ana Maria Perez-Paulino, a senior anthropology major who moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when she was 9, said, "UAlbany makes it easy for students to take leadership into our own hands. Through the Student Association, you're pretty much free to create any group that will address whatever interests you may have. It's a diverse campus and has several multicultural groups, but we saw there was an opportunity to create an organization that looked at humanitarian issues on a global scale."

Third World Impact holds a clothing drive.

From left, Third World Impact members Emmanuel Adomfeh, Bernadette Orende, Ana Maria Perez Paulino, and Uzezi Obaro-Best are running a clothing drive for local families in need as well as those around the world. Donations may be made at bins in the residence halls and the Campus Center. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

Third World Impact is working on three major projects:
A clothing drive, UA Students for a Better World, to be held the week of March 23. The clothes will be sent to developing nations and local charities.
The group will help out at the next Dump and Run, collecting used furniture that will be distributed to newly arrived refugees through the USCRI.
A dinner and student talent show to raise money for charities in developing nations.

Adomfeh, who volunteers with the USCRI in Albany, tutoring and mentoring two brothers from Myanmar (Burma), said his group seeks to increase the number of UAlbany students who volunteer there.

Borrowing a quote from Gandhi, Adomfeh said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world. We hope to turn the students of UAlbany into a force that will change the world."

 

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