Local group’s summer institute aims to end extreme poverty

Jul. 28, 2013 @ 01:12 AM

Want to go?
Community members can purchase tickets to the institute’s Aug. 5 banquet by visiting http://nourishbanquet2013.eventbrite.com/ or calling the Nourish International office at (919) 338-2599.
Students will share stories of their experiences working with community partners, as well as videos and photos during the banquet.
Tickets are $25.

This week, Nourish International kicks off its sixth annual Summer Institute, which will bring more than 50 students from around the country to UNC to learn how to make a lasting and global impact on extreme poverty.
The Carrboro-based nonprofit, whose mission is to eliminate poverty throughout the world, has student chapters on 45 college campuses that operate social businesses.
Students invest the profits that they earn in poverty reduction projects in the developing world, which they travel abroad to implement alongside community organizations.
The student representatives attending the conference Aug. 1-5 will learn leadership skills, how to run ventures and work with community partners to create sustainable development projects abroad.
“It’s really an exciting event,” said Sarah Miller, program director for Nourish International. “Every day, there’s so much excitement and energy in the room.”
In addition to the 57 students who have registered for the event, Miller said 16 alums of the program will also return to mentor the student representatives along with 25 speakers from prominent local organizations. 
The speakers will include local leaders in business and social enterprise such as Jeff Stern of TROSA Inc., Jud Bowman, founder and CEO of Appia, and Matt Kopac, social and environmental responsibility manager at Burt's Bees.
The institute will culminate Sunday with a banquet held at the FedEx Global Education Center on the UNC campus to recognize the accomplishments of students, ventures and projects that have demonstrated high impact on poverty reduction.
Last school year, campus chapters raised more than $70,000 to help fund community-based projects in 12 developing countries.
Miller cited two projects that originated at the University of New Mexico as good examples of the work campus chapters perform.
One project involved working with a local organization in Peru called Project Amazonas to build a health clinic and to create a public health outreach campaign.
The chapter also partnered with the Cameroon Association of Active Youth in Cameroon to establish a community center for women and youth. It also helped women there establish organic farms.
“The students really integrate into the community,” Miller said. “They live with the people of the community and eat with them.”      
In exchange for helping others, Miller said, students gain valuable skills that will serve them well no matter what career they chose after completing college.
“Whether they become doctors or lawyers, they become better leaders and more socially conscious and prepare to change the world in whatever field they go into,” Miller said.