Volume 95, Issue 57

Tuesday, January 15, 2002
 
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NEWS

Tories to deny Queen's deregulation

Charity Ball takes on diabetes

Liz Witmer kisses USC ass, promises change

UWO clubs raise funds for starving Afghans

Crazy-ass drives concern UPD

Drive-bys? Are we in Compton?

UWO clubs raise funds for starving Afghans

By Oonagh Baerveldt
Gazette Staff


Several Western clubs are part of a large fundraising effort that seeks to raise at least $1.5 million for war-torn Afghanistan.

UNICEF boxes are being placed in residence lobbies and at food stations across campus to raise funds for the newly-established, London-based group "We Want to Help – The Mothers and Children of Afghanistan."

The program was founded by Western political science professor Salim Mansur and retired professor Jim Freedman. With the help of several Western clubs – the new Afghan Students' Association, the Muslim Students' Association, Oxfam, UNICEF and World University Service of Canada – organizers are hoping to raise at least $1.5 million.

"I felt we had to do something and, within a couple of weeks, we had this organization going," Mansur said. "We are concerned about the continuing troubles and horrors in Afghanistan.

"Women and children are suffering the consequences of 25 years of war. This is an excellent way for students to show concern and goodwill. For the price of a coffee and donut, students can have an impact."

"The drive is not only about raising funds, but awareness too," said Debbie Luk, president and founder of World University Service Canada. "There is so much suffering in Afghanistan. Especially now that it is winter, there are so many kids with nothing to eat."

"What makes our fundraising effort unique is that we're tapping existing groups like clubs at Western, church groups, service organizations and local schools to raise funds for a collective good," said Ron Posno, chair of the We Want to Help Executive Committee.

"All of the funds raised by We Want to Help will be turned over to UNICEF for the most effective and efficient delivery of aid to Afghan women and children," Posno said, adding UNICEF was chosen because of their tremendous buying power as an aid agency.

They can provide an entire meal to an Afghan child for three cents, he said. A sweater costs UNICEF $2.19 and a blanket costs $2 to purchase.

Several student-run events are planned, for Feb. 5 and 6, to raise funds and awareness on campus To raise awareness of Afghan culture, authentic foods, crafts and music will be showcased. A raffle to raise funds will be held at the same time.

Luk is also working to secure a special Western Film screening of the award-winning Kandahar, a film about an Afghan-Canadian struggling to return to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to see her sister.

Donation cards for the fundraiser will be available at participating club booths through Clubs Week, Jan. 15 to 18. Small change donations can be made at UNICEF boxes across campus.




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Copyright The Gazette 2001