John Mary and Laura attended the Clinton Global Initiative Conference

John Mary and Laura Collins (Villanova U) represented URF at the Clinton Global InitIMG_0023iative University second annual conference on Feb 13-15 at the University of Texas at Austin! The conference is organized by the Clinton Foundation under the facilitation of President Clinton. Over 1000 student participants from across the globe made commitments to address national and international needs in five areas: energy and climate change, poverty aleviation, human rights and peace, education and global health.

URF’s commitment at CGI was to expand the Hope Academy into Vocational training programs. This phase will involve a lot of construction for new buildings for dormitories, library, labs, computer center, classrooms, clinics, etc.

Among the many plenary and breakout session topics of discussion included:

-The Future of Food
-Turning Economic Obstacles into Opportunities
-Visionary Leadership in Education and Social Change
-Raising Hope: Taking Action to Protect and Empower Women
-Building an Organization
-Media & Marketing
-Leveraging Technology to Alleviate Poverty
-Education in Emergencies and Reaching Marginalized Groups
-Hidden Successes, Emerging Opportunities: The Battle against Infectious Diseases
-Spotlight on Youth: The Rights of Children
-From Global to Local: How the Environment Affects Health
-Targeted Actions with Big Impacts: Seeding Climate Solutions on Campus
-Making a Difference on Campus: A Call to Action

John Mary and Laura learned a lot and made many contacts for URF. I was surprised to meet many people who had connections to Uganda. There was also one guy from Uganda studying in the States and he is working a bicycle projects for people in the camps in northern Uganda.

The program also included a service project on the last day of the conference. We worked downtown Austin cleaning the park.