By the Gender and Women Studies 300 class “Women as Agents of Change”
Think about your daily schedule. For many of you, you wake up in a comfy bed, brush your teeth with clean water, take a relaxing, hot shower, get to campus to begin the last weeks of the semester—the last push—all while you down the caffeinated beverage of your choice. But regardless of how overwhelming it may seem, it is nothing compared to the struggles like those of Meena Hasina.
When she was 8-years-old, Hasina was kidnapped and sent to a brothel in India. From the time she was 12, she suffered brutal sexual abuse, including rape. After years of exploitation and suicide attempts, she escaped the brothel, but she was forced to leave her two children behind.
While the story has a happy ending and Hasina’s children found her, her struggles are common throughout the world. Sexual abuse, lack of medical care and education are plagues that can be avoided with your help – you can become an agent of change.
An agent of change is a person who makes a positive difference at the global, national, or local level that affects the lives of others. as well as the life of the person who chooses to create progress. The ideology of the agent of change is to improve the world one cause at a time, whether through a single person or tackling a new issue each day. And that agent is you.
Consider the money you waste on a daily basis and the luxuries of the United States you take for granted. You may hear about global problems on the nightly news or even from watching the commercials asking for money to help feed hungry children. But the fact of the matter is that you can make a difference without sending a check to an organization plastered on the big screen.
Our class has taken it upon itself to reach out to local and global organizations through donations and support. We decided to collect spare change for the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles in support of their junior Born to Act Players first summer performance. Some of our class members wrote letters reaching out to authors and organizations mentioned in our textbooks. As well, some of us collaborated to write this article to encourage others on campus to be agents of change too.
For example, to help victims of sex trafficking like Hasina, you can donate to organizations such as Apne Aap International, a non-governmental organization based in Mumbai, India, that gives vulnerable girls and women the resources to escape and avoid sex trafficking. Go to apneaap.org for more information.
You can also give micro loans through kiva.org, which directly connects you to a person in need of a relatively small amount of money; some people only need $25, to start a business that will support their families.
Even a no-cost way to help is available at freerice.com, where you can play free vocabulary games and every time you win rice is donated to hungry people around the world.
There are many opportunities to become an agent of change. What will you do?