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OPRF senior Zoë Ryan, her mother Julia Ryan and Mary Erkins, all of Oak Park, volunteered their time to travel to Washington D.C. July 21-23 to speak to members of Congress on behalf of people living in poverty in the US and around the world. They attended The RESULTS International Conference where hundreds of volunteers gathered for advocacy training and education on poverty issues.
The keynote speaker was be Professor Muhammad Yunus member of The board of directors of RESULTS. He is a winner of The Nobel Peace Prize and recipient of The Congressional Medal of Honor for his work establishing the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The Bank extends micro loans to the poorest people, mostly women, to start small businesses and lift themselves out of poverty. 100 million people have consequently been helped worldwide.
A national grassroots organization, RESULTS educates and empowers everyday Americans to connect with Congress and urge members to support smart, effective anti poverty programs that help people lift themselves out of poverty with dignity. The three-day conference in Washington, D.C., helped volunteers build skills in media outreach, network-building, advocacy and fundraising, so our local advocates can be more effective in speaking out on issues like Head Start, SNAP benefits, (aka food stamps) global vaccine programs, child survival, and universal basic education.
"As a mother whose child has had every opportunity to thrive, it is heartbreaking to imagine what it must be like for countless mothers to watch their children die for lack of treatment, supplements or vaccinations which can cost as little as a few cents. This is similar to a silent holocaust of 17,000 children a day who die largely due to preventable causes. The good news is that we successfully reduced this number from 44,000 deaths a day in the early 80s and can prevent most of these deaths if we work together" said Julia Ryan of Grove Ave in Oak Park. The three advocates along with other Chicago area volunteers visited several congressional offices on the last day of the conference including the offices of Senator Durbin, Senator Kirk and Congressman Danny Davis.
RESULTS is a leading force in ending poverty in the United States and around the world. It creates long-term solutions to poverty by supporting programs that address its root causes — lack of access to medical care, education, or opportunity to move up the economic ladder. We do this by empowering ordinary people to become extraordinary voices for the end of poverty in their communities, the media, and the halls of government. We leverage millions of dollars for programs and improved policies that help vulnerable people move out of poverty with dignity.