THE BLOG
03/27/2014 10:55 pm ET | Updated May 27, 2014

Don't Wait Until Graduation to Make Your Impact on Extreme Poverty

In our world today...

  • 1 in 6 people live in extreme poverty
  • 1.1 billion lack access to water
  • 1 billion people are illiterate
  • There is only 1 doctor per 6,000 people in developing countries

At Nourish International we are changing this.

Our mission is to engage students and empower communities to make a lasting impact on extreme poverty. We are on 45 college campuses. Nourish Students run Ventures, small businesses and fundraising events, on their campus and then invest their earnings in communities implementing sustainable development projects abroad. During the summer, students travel abroad and work alongside communities to implement projects related to health care, food access, water and sanitation, education, business development and more.

Today, we are celebrating the success of our University of New Mexico Chapter. UNM Nourish was founded in 2010 and over the past four years has had many great successes. UNM Nourish runs a weekly Hunger Lunch Venture selling green chile quesadillas.

With these proceeds The University of New Mexico Chapter is partnering with Project Amazonas, a Peruvian non-profit organization dedicated to serving the communities and natural environment of the Amazon Rainforest. Project Amazonas began working with indigenous and mestizo communities along the Orosa River in 1994. UNM Nourish students will be working in local Peruvian communities in the Loreto region to continue constructing a health clinic on the Rio Orosa. This clinic is essential because the nearest government-run health clinic lacks basic supplies and is often inaccessible for long periods of time due to the variability of river levels in the area.

This clinic will serve approximately 1500 people in nine communities (Comandancia, Santo Tomas, Nuevo Israel, Santa Ursula, Puerto Fujimori, Santa Rosa, San Pedro de Orosa, Pobre Alegre, and Nuevo Paucarillo) in one of the most remote and isolated regions on the planet. Once completed, the clinic will be owned and maintained by the community.

This project is a continuation of the work started by Nourish at UNM in 2012. The site has been cleared, leveled, and construction has begun. This year construction is scheduled to continue and hopefully finish.

A health education program and rural health survey were conducted in 2012 in the local communities in order to identify the communities' various health needs and concerns. UNM Nourish Project Interns will use this information to ensure that the clinic is effective in improving the health and general living conditions of the local peoples once completed. We hope that these initiatives will pave the way for future health programs in the region and future projects in similar rural areas of Peru.

Nourish is currently accepting applications for students to found a new Nourish Chapter. Nourish can be your platform to run businesses, partner with communities abroad, and make a lasting impact on extreme poverty. Nourish can be your platform to take action now.

The application deadline is March 31. To learn more, visit nourish.org/students/found-a-chapter.