Letter to the editor: Wilfred Williams is an example to follow

Lauren Jurczyszyn, Contributor

Dear Shelby,

I am writing to you today in response to an article published in the last issue of The Oakland Post.

I was extremely moved by soccer player Wilfred Williams and the story of his time in Liberia. What drew me in the most, besides his amazing work, is the difference in the quality of education. It’s easy to acknowledge that we are privileged to have the level of education that we do in America, but quite different to hear that in countries such as Liberia, there are sessions of school so that children can raise funds for their tuition or household. With the vast advantages that we have in the U.S., we often lose sight of the plight of others.

The past month, I have been working as an intern with The Borgen Project, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to working on legislation that could help the world’s most extreme poor. When reading the article about Williams, I found myself thinking back to the acts that volunteers and interns are working on every week as members of The Borgen Project. One act in particular was voted on this week in the Senate- the READ Act. This act would make it easier for impoverished nations to gain access to higher quality education, creating a better standard for the next generation.

As a Borgen Project supporter, I have been fortunate to learn how important it is to use my privileges to magnify the struggles of others. An easy way to do this is to call congressional leaders and ask them to support the International Affairs Budget. As a country, we only spend one percent on foreign aid. What we fail to realize is foreign aid is good business. By increasing the support given to hurting nations, the U.S. has the opportunity to boost their own economy and the well-being of those living on less than $1 a day. The U.S. is an agenda setter for the rest of the world- if it is shown that the country supports foreign aid spending, it is possible that global poverty could be eradicated by 2030 with more spending in resources annually.

I think stories, such as Williams’ journey, are important to share. If we are to be the leaders of tomorrow, a global perspective is important. Our actions at home have the ability to change the lives of those living thousands of miles away.

Thank you, Lauren Jurczyszyn

Lauren Jurczyszyn is a senior studying psychology.