Poverty Talks: Inspiring Action at UCLA


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photo: UNA Georgetown at UNA-USA's Members Day at the UN 

On February 18th, 2015, the UCLA UNA-USA campus chapter hosted the first in their series of Poverty Talks. Held on campus after class from 8:30 - 10:30 pm, the event was inspired by UNA @ UCLA’s Poverty Relief Director, Jessica Tran.

Poverty Talk 2015 was sponsored by Child Foundation, an international charity organization that helps children living in poverty to remain in school. Other co-sponsors who joined the Poverty Talk initiative include UCLA External Vice President’s Office and project RISHI.

The event began with a spoken word performance by Dwijesh Nambiar, UNA @ UCLA’s Advocacy director, who shared what it is like to live in poverty with his poem titled, “Burdens.” Next, project RISHI representatives Harrison Wu and Suruchi Salgar shared their
organization’s initiatives to promote social and health improvement in Rural India. Suruchi and Harrison explained their mission is largely focused on promoting the sustainable development and growth of rural Indian communities. More information about project RISHI’s initiatives can be found here: www.projectrishi.org

Next, Tiffany Hsu presented a talk on her volunteering experiences in Uganda through the organization The Uganda Development Initiative. Tiffany inspired many attendees to take on volunteer endeavors locally and/or globally. She advised students who would like to get involved to visit the website: www.udiworks.org

The event concluded with Jessica’s presentation on her personal experiences with poverty. Jessica encouraged all of the attendees to continue to create a growing awareness in the developing world because the effort to alleviate poverty must start with an opening discussion about poverty.

Despite progress achieved since the endorsement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), human poverty still remains widespread in certain parts of the world. There are still more than a billion people living in extreme poverty. UNA @ UCLA will continue to play an active role in promoting inclusive and sustainable projects to collectively reduce poverty in all its dimensions.

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