For her final assignment we asked Morgan, our December Online Intern, to tell us why she is passionate about making a difference in the world.
Here's what she said:
I was asked one Friday afternoon why I chose to volunteer with the World Food Programme instead of focusing my efforts on initiatives based in the United States. While rendered momentarily speechless, I racked my brain for an answer that would turn this skeptic into an international humanitarian. Whatever answer I mustered sufficed for the moment, but I knew that I would have to dig deeper and pinpoint my true motivations in order to write this final piece. So, today, I write to the world in hopes to illuminate some of the reasons why global hunger issues should matter to young people even when they are removed from immense poverty and deprivation.
I have been very fortunate in my short 21 years of life to have traveled extensively, and that exposure to different cultures and peoples has contributed to my belief that I am not only a citizen of the United States but also of the world. After spending a few inconsecutive months over the last three years in Paris, China and London I now recognize the growing interconnectivity between societies of the world. Globalization also contributes to this phenomenon, and makes me further think that this mounting economic and social integration between civilizations redefines humanitarian boundaries. I of course care about those that live in my country and experience poverty as well as neglect; however, it is a fact that those in the Third World are accustomed to a level of economic desperation that is foreign to most in North America or Europe. Another distinguishing feature between the Third World and the First is the established infrastructure that aims to address the struggles of the poor. Countries within Africa, the Middle East and Asia lack the state support and or resources necessary to care for the millions of citizens that starve daily, monthly and year after year.
So, why should we care? We should care because all humans deserve to live without fear, pain, suffering or starvation. We should also care because we are capable of igniting change. In a world where problems are complex and overwhelming, it can be disheartening to exert energy trying to urge others to join you in making a difference, BUT it is the responsibility of our generation to try. We must start now to organize a system of support. Students and young adults are in a unique position to stimulate change. Young people are revolutionizing the way in which the world interacts. This change is exemplified by Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. Now is time to redefine how our generation is characterized and shed the “me, me, me attitude” that has been pegged to us because of our integration into the online community. We can use our strengths to positively change the world. Utilizing social media, for example, can raise awareness about global hunger issues and generate more participation among those you know and, ideally, beyond. From there, identify other motivations and qualities that will be useful and get moving! A chain reaction must begin and it can start with you.
Written by Morgan Mixon, WFP Online Intern December 2011