ASAP (Academics Stand Against Poverty) is an international organisation that aims to use the skills of academics to eradicate global poverty. The ASAP society describe themselves as an ideas forum, hoping to get students involved with the scheme in bringing together all their different skills to help combat poverty. It is new to Manchester University but has been really successful in other universities such as Birmingham. The society holds bi-weekly meetings where students can brain storm ideas how to overcome poverty and how to bring to light problems abroad to the Manchester and Student community.
I spoke to Omid Mojabi, a member of ASAP who explained a bit more about the society. ‘’We are looking for students who have volunteered abroad to give talks and share their experiences with other students. Through these talks we want to explain the benefits of volunteering alongside the potential problems. It is a great way for people to understand cultural differences which volunteers have to overcome and how people can get the most out of volunteering abroad.’’
Through ASAP Omid and other members took part in the ‘Poverty Line’ Challenge. They had to live off £1 and day for one week, and donated what they would normally spend (around £20 a week on food) to the charity of their choice. ‘’It was really tough to do and really made me realise how hard life in poverty is. As a group we managed to put our money together for food but that didn’t leave anything extra for travel. It meant I had to walk to university and going out was not an option. I had just enough money to survive and that was it.’’ ASAP also offer unique internship opportunities with the charity itself. All you have to do is visit the website http://academicsstand.org/ to find out more.
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