My memories never fade. I can remember cluttered villages, a smell that is unforgettable, unpaved streets, shanty houses and trash littering the dirt roads, even barbed wire being used for fences. I was the youngest on this trip, and although I grew up poor, my poverty paled in comparison to what these people were facing. I knew I would never be the same again after seeing one bedroom houses with at least six people residing inside and the pain on their faces. My passion for international politics and human rights began when I visited the southern tip of Africa, specifically the countries of South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
All around me, I could see the affects of post-colonialism, apartheid and the pervading culture of separatism and how marginalized these countries had become in the international community. As I visited schools, I could see how the citizens wrestled with their dual identities, as both students of their native ethnicities and also their former colonizers. It appeared that few people benefited from the countries’ abundant resources. I also saw how segregated the neighborhoods were, with Indians and Afrikaans (white Africans) living in beautiful gated communities, while directly across the street Africans (black Africans) lived without electricity or running water. The feeling of hopelessness grabbed me. I felt angered that the people’s government was not doing more to better their conditions and I was deeply concerned as to why there was not more international outrage.
This experience occurred during my first year of college. After I returned from this trip, I enrolled in several international studies courses and began the hard work of understanding the causes of African instability and what role the continent plays in the international community. I excelled in this field, and my coursework in international studies reflects my ability to perform rigorous work. During this time, I chose to focus my work on reforming the United Nations to expand the permanent countries of the Security Council to account for the African continent. In addition, I became conversationally fluent in the Zulu language through the one-on-one teaching of my African Studies professor.
My study abroad and academic experiences have made me into a global citizen. A global citizen is one who has concern for their fellow humans, their rights, and human dignity. In addition, one must have respect for all global citizens, despite ones’ race, religion, or creed, and give rise to universal sympathy beyond the barriers of nationality. This can be achieved by taking on the responsibility of reducing international inequality both socially and economically, refraining from actions that hinder individuals’ well-being, avoid contributing to environmental degradation, and by supporting global human rights for all regardless of region.
Moreover, I am a person who cares about human suffering and injustice and will work to help those who are in need. Most notably, I have volunteered numerous hours with an AIDS shelter in Atlanta, Georgia, where I packaged and served food and discussed the residents’ condition and ways to educate the community. I also have mentored children who come from foster homes and broken families on the issue of AIDS awareness and their ability to rise out of poverty to effect positive change in the society.
Attending Webster University Global School of International Relations will help me understand international politics and the methods to solving human rights issues. I would like to develop a body of research that will help me assist countries in the southern region of Africa in their efforts to establish and maintain effective and stable governments. Achieving stability in this area can prove beneficial to the international community in various ways. For example, trade in natural resources can benefit more industrialized countries. In addition, there is great benefit in stabilizing these countries, as it will help to protect against terrorism.
When I went to southern Africa, I did not have a voice. I believe that the Webster University Global School of International Relations will give me the ability to have a meaningful voice. This masters program is an accelerated 11-month program. During the 11-month period we travel to five different countries to learn and interact with the international political process. I have been accepted into the program, but maybe unable to attend due to lack of finances. I am seeking to raise $5,000 or more by June 15, 2010 in order to pay the down payment for the program which is $2,100 as well as my transportation and board for the first semester to the Netherlands. I respectfully ask that your organization aid me accomplishing my dream so that others will benefit from my vision. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
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