This February, we welcomed our new online intern Daniel Arukwe Johansen to help us get the word out on hunger. Studying at the University of Oslo in Norway, he’s pretty passionate about empowering his peers to use their knowledge and unique point of view to help solve hunger. Naturally, we sought out his help to spark a conversation online and asked him to share his top five reasons he believes students have the power to make a difference. Prepare to be inspired by what he had to say.
1. Students hold the keys to the future
As young people and especially as students, we are, quite literally, the future and the world of tomorrow is ours to shape. Fighting hunger and working to make the world a better place for everyone is more than our responsibility, it's our opportunity and an exciting one at that. As dramatic as it may sound, young people, no matter where in the world, hold the future in our hands, and I say we seize it!
2. Students don't just acquire ideas, they spread them
Being a student is about learning. But being a student is also about using and spreading that knowledge and the power it gives us to make a change. Students are in a unique position to channel time and energy towards what they believe in. They also have an amazing opportunity to combine learning with sharing and to join up with others with similar attitudes. Creating and joining networks fighting towards common goals is the hallmark of students across the planet.
3. Knowledge begets responsibility
Students, no matter what they study, have in common that they are in a process of acquiring knowledge about certain aspects of the world. But being a student also means being part of a lucky group of people able to access this knowledge, and this privilege begets a responsibility. Hunger, poverty, insecurity and underdevelopment mean that so many of us never get the chance or the opportunity to fulfill this potential - which means that we have a responsibility to fulfill ours. Fighting hunger is about spreading those opportunities, and this is our task.
4. Being a student means connecting across borders
Young people across the planet connect globally today on a scale never seen before. The explosion of social networks and the integration of these into the everyday lives of students and young people means we can share and connect over a range of issues every single day, regardless of nationality, religion or other perceived dividers. Connections are made over things like music, movies and television, but connections are also being made on more serious issues. Young people can engage each other in a common fight to end hunger like never before, regardless of physical distance. Students united globally is a force to be reckoned with!
5. Students have a strong voice
History has shown countless times that students are not afraid to fight for what they believe in or fight to be heard. Students marching together towards a common goal – such as to end hunger, poverty and inequality -- is a powerful force, and that force can make all the difference. The will and the strength to fight for what you believe in has been characteristic of students for a long time - and we have as much to fight for today as we ever have.
By: Daniel Arukwe Johansen
February online intern