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ONE@UVA reaches overseas

CIO campaigns for electricty access legislation in Sub-Saharan Africa

<p>ONE@UVA endorsed the Electrifying Africa Act which passed in the House last May and is currently being debated in the Senate. </p>

ONE@UVA endorsed the Electrifying Africa Act which passed in the House last May and is currently being debated in the Senate. 

Grassroots activism is a powerful tool to raise awareness in communities near and far. The efforts of ONE@UVA — a bipartisan contracted independent organization working to tackle poverty and preventable disease in Africa — have produced tangible results in the federal political arena.

ONE@UVA is a college chapter of the larger international non-profit ONE, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Last year, ONE@UVA campaigned for the Electrifying Africa Act, a policy aimed at establishing a comprehensive system to provide countries in sub-Saharan Africa with electricity access and subsequently drive economic growth. The bill passed in the House of Representatives this May and is now being debated in the Senate.

One@UVA Vice President Milika Robbins, a fourth-year College student, praised the success of the bill thus far.

“[Advocating with One@UVA is] a fulfilling experience,” Robbins said. “We think we have no voice [in] these issues. Our conceptions as college students is that [we] don’t have political power, but we do.”

Students in ONE@UVA wrote letters to U.S. Representative Robert Hurt in support of the EAA bill. In addition, members held a “Cooking in the Dark” event at Hereford Residential College to portray how difficult everyday tasks become without electricity.

Director of the Center on Critical Human Survival Issues at U.Va. Ravindra Khare said the activism displayed by ONE@UVA mirrors the necessary work to be done within and beyond the Charlottesville community.

“Human survival crises [come] from near and afar these days,” Khare said. “These are the times when we have to be ever-more attentive to human survival crises as [well] as to development issues now locally and globally present.”

Global Studies Prof. Sahar Akhtar encouraged students interested in the work completed by ONE@UVA to pursue relevant work experience.

“Students should take an interest in development work especially because in the U.Va. community we are trying to shape ourselves to be part of the global community,” Akhtar said. “Students can get involved through many opportunities like internships with NGOs as well as global institutions and non-profits.”


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