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Finding an Answer Together

United States, November 30, 2007

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  <span class="field-credit">
    courtesy of Amy M.  </span>
    As a student leader in Mercy Corps' Global Citizen Corps, Amy is active in campaigns promoting several social issues. Photo: courtesy of Amy M.

We all have hoped for a better tomorrow. Global Citizen Corps (GCC), a national network of high school student leaders, helps thousands of people around the world who wait for an answer to their poverty caused problems.

As a student in the suburbs of Chicago, I have raised awareness on hunger and HIV/AIDS — two things that are absolutely devastating developing countries. I have written an article in the Northwest Indiana Times to raise awareness of both issues. I made posters to hang up around my school to raise awareness. Also, I am making red awareness ribbons for World HIV/AIDS day on December 1.

I am trying to be the change I want to see in the world. As a student leader in GCC, I hope that we will collectively find a cure for hunger, poverty, AIDS, and illiteracy. With your help, we can be the change together.

Fellow Americans, it's not just about us or our problems right now. It's about the humans out there waiting for a cure: a cure that will stop the AIDS epidemic. This epidemic that shook a nation in the 1980s, but it still marches on today.

Today, about 33 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, and 95 percent of them live in a developing nation. Many of these people also live on less than one dollar a day, diminishing their prospects of getting treatment even if it's available — which it usually isn't. They are waiting for us, America; let us come together right now and help developing countries achieve some semblance of the "American dream."

Access to antiretroviral therapy, which can keep HIV/AIDS in check, in low and middle-income countries expanded from 240,000 people in 2001 to 1.3 million people in 2005. Still, in developing countries, HIV/AIDS is devastating entire communities. The virus doesn't only affect people who are infected, but their entire social and economic networks including friends, family and work colleagues. One person that you care about is all it takes to shake your life. And in some of the world's poorest places, entire communities are being shaken apart by HIV/AIDS.

In America, we are fortunate to live in a democracy where we can control where our money goes. We can direct our tax dollars to global crises like HIV/AIDS if we petition our district to clean up their spending. If we all start locally, we cultivate to affect globally.

The United States' President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was created to assist the 15 countries hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This program has pledged to provide $9 billion over five years to these countries, as well as to offer treatment to two million people living with AIDS. Remember, as Americans we can push ourselves to take away from our lives and our worries to think about those suffering who are desperately silently crying out for an answer. We have the power to get medication to all HIV/AIDS sufferers in our country and developing countries.

Global Citizen Corps was made to amplify the voice and power of youths who want to change the world. Young Americans are so thirsty for an answer that will help developing countries. We can find an answer together, but we need for you to put your faith in us and hope for a better tomorrow.

I challenge you to help our generation fight the AIDS epidemic with a donation to our cause. We, as Americans, are blessed to have the technology and resources to ensure sustainability, but we need to manifest our generosity and purpose to other nations that are looking for hope.

To learn more about Mercy Corps' Global Citizen Corps, please click here.