to Scotland for ONE Campaign
June 29, 2005
Jason Fileta, a May 2005 graduate of Calvin College, has been selected by the ONE Campaign as a member of a 100-person delegation to meetings surrounding the G8 Summit in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Fileta, who graduated with degrees in sociology and third-world development, will be one of 25 Bread for the World representatives attending the ONE Campaign's Edinburgh events, educating attendees about issues of global hunger and disease and world poverty.
"Jason is both organized and visionary, and that's an amazing combination," says Abby Jansen, who works in Michigan for Bread for the World and the ONE Campaign. "I'm excited by what he and others can accomplish by witnessing for justice in Scotland."
The ONE Campaign is a collaborative effort between faith-based and nonprofit organizations - Bread for the World, CARE, DATA, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam America, Plan USA, Save the Children US, World Concern and World Vision among them - to influence leaders in the world's richest countries to combat hunger and poverty in the world's poorest countries.
The campaign focuses around this year's G8 Summit, hosted by Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, July 6-9 at Gleneagles in Scotland, which brings together leaders of the world's industrial democracies - the USA; Canada; Great Britain; France; Germany; Italy; Japan and Russia - to negotiate aid packages and other solutions to global poverty, hunger and disease.
The ONE Campaign's many events are geared to raising consciousness about these issues and persuading governments to take them seriously.
Celebrities as disparate as George Clooney, Nelson Mandela and Pat Robertson have united as spokespersons for the ONE Campaign, an effort that also has drawn the support of such respected evangelicals as Rick Warren and Billy Graham. Yet, while the celebrity endorsements lend visibility to the cause, it is young people like Fileta who will actually change government policies on world hunger, poverty and disease, says Larry Hollar, a regional organizer for Bread for the World.
"Hard political work, the work that's going on year in and year out, happens because of people like Jason who take the time to learn about the issues and take action on them," Hollar says.
Hollar and Jansen selected Fileta as a delegate to Scotland after working with him on world hunger initiatives at Calvin.
One of several leaders of Calvin's Social Justice Coalition (SJC), Fileta targeted world hunger as his issue and organized several events to raising awareness about it.
"World hunger has always been my focus, because that is a problem we can actually solve, and we have the means to solve it," Fileta says. "I think everyone can agree that hunger is not proper for humanity, especially when we have this much food and money."
One event which Fileta helped to lead was the SJC's distribution of Peter Fish - orange plastic fish banks - during World Hunger Week in October, an effort that netted over $6,000 for world hunger. He also brought Hollar and Jansen to campus to teach workshops and planned events tied to Bread for the World and the ONE Campaign.
"As I think of young activists who are already making their mark on the advocacy movement on hunger and justice, Jason is at the top of the list," Hollar says. "Given his experience, his thoughtful Christian perspective and his passionate heart for the issues in the One Campaign, it was obvious that Jason's voice and presence would be a powerful part of this U.S. delegation to the G-8 summit."
Fileta will begin his work as a ONE Campaign delegate on July 2 by attending Philadelphia's Live 8 concert, one of ten concerts to be staged worldwide and tied to the campaign. He will then head to Scotland for the G-8 Summit.
After his return from Scotland, he will begin working as a field organizer for the Christian Reformed Church's office of social justice and hunger action, establishing social justice coalitions at colleges all over the country.
~written by media relations staff writer Myrna Anderson
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