A grassroots movement is forming on the Fairfield University campus and the student body’s participation is needed for its success.
Sophomores Luke Record and Ricky Solano are planning to open a University chapter of RESULTS, a nonprofit organization with a plan to end global poverty.
RESULTS, or Responsibility for Ending Starvation Using Legislation Trimtab-ing and Support, has a mission “to create the public and political will to end poverty by empowering individuals to exercise their personal and political power for change,” according to its website.
RESULTS has made strides throughout the world since 1980. Its educational branch, RESULTS Educational Fund (REF), founded in 1983, has also been equally effective in the world by spreading messages about global poverty.
The term poverty also encompasses long-term issues such as poor education, deteriorating global health and big business finance.
To combat such issues, the grassroots advocacy group, with the help of citizens, contacts key local legislators to support anti-poverty bills, which fund effective solutions to ease poverty and protect the needy.
A current issue RESULTS wants people to be more aware of is a funding crisis that threatens a global health effort to end AIDS in Africa.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is in its tenth year, saves about 100, 000 lives each month, according to a recent press release by RESULTS. Recently, it has discovered HPTN 052, a potential treatment for AIDS.
When this treatment is applied in the early stages of the disease, it can reduce the risk of transmission by 96 percent, according to RESULTS. Additionally, the treatment can diminish “the occurrence of TB infection by 84 percent.”
However, the Global Fund is losing donors who contribute to research studies on HPTN 052. RESULTS encourages the United States to keeps its 3-year pledge of $4 million dollars, which was made in October 2010 by the Obama administration. The US is a crucial donor; it’s the largest single donor to the Global Fund.
Record feels that the government should listen to its citizens. “Another theme of Results is the idea that our governors, our congressmen, our senators, work for us, therefore we should hold them responsible,” he said. “We should tell them what to do.”
In doing this, students’ voices need to be heard. He and Solano are beginning to gather interested people in the McCormick Residential Hall, but they also hope to branch out and educate the campus on RESULTS and the Global Fund.
Solano finds the student population’s membership crucial to the future success of RESULTS. But for now, Solano said the group’s goal is to get attention. They want to “get the message out and get people on board.”
Once students are made aware of the issues, they will then try to get the attention of legislators by writing and calling them to support the Global Fund, Solano said.
“If we get more and more people to contact representatives, then [we’ll] be influential. We pretty much want to build a bond between the campus and the [Fairfield] community,” said Solano.
RESULTS Global Grassroots Manager Ken Patterson, who visited the campus in October 2011, believes that Fairfield will make a great impact on RESULTS’ progress.
He said: “It’s important to bring RESULTS to Fairfield because, without a doubt, there are people at Fairfield who believe every child on this Earth should have access to a basic education, so that they can reach their potential; that every child should receive the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need so they can reach their physical and intellectual potential; that if there is a life-saving treatment available at low-cost, then no one should have to die in vain because they don’t have pocket change to buy it for themselves or their children.”
“RESULTS has proven that even those of us who are not rich or in any position of esteem or power have the power to do something about everything mentioned above,” Patterson concluded.
After the group is established, Record said that he would like to collaborate with other advocacy groups on campus like Proactive Investment Club and Students for Social Justice.
Record said that though the funding crisis for Global Fund is a tragic opportunity, students should be proactive.
“If you can make a difference on a global scale, then why not?” Record said.
Any students interested in attending a RESULTS meeting should contact Luke Record for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.