CLUB SPOTLIGHT: Click to help Tsunami victims

March 11, 2005

Between Feb. 14 and Mar. 31, Brandeis students are pitted against universities across the nation in the Oxfam America Collegiate Clickdrive, a campaign to raise funds for micro-credit relief for victims of the recent tsunami in Southeast Asia. Students pay nothing as all donations come from site advertisers on a per site visit basis.

Ava Morgenstern, Marc Rotter, and Deirdre Mooney are leading the Brandeis University campaign. Clickdrive was created in 2001 and is still organized by Brandeis students.
Ben Brandzel, former president of the Brandeis Universtiy Student Union, conceived the Clickdrive while being trained by Oxfam America as one of their Change leaders. As a Change leader, he was charged with using his new skills and insights to lead Oxfam campaigns on his college campus and in the local community. With assistance from Oxfam America, www.povertyfighters.com (where donations can be made) and Clickdrive was formed. With word being spread by Change leaders and connections at dozens of well-known organizations who agreed to sponsor the drive, the first year was a great success. This year, Brandeis is in sixth place in the drive.

The campaign brings together student movements fighting hunger, poverty, sweatshops, AIDS and environmental degradation in a national inter-collegiate competition to raise up to $1 million for micro-credit poverty relief programs.

Micro-credit consists of small business loans primarily given to women in Third World and developing nations. The technique is used to raise women, their families, and their communities out of the depths of poverty through self sufficiency. The success rate of micro-credit loans, measured by the success and payback of loans, is estimated to be 95 to 98 percent.

The school that rallies its students into clicking the most times during the contest period will win. The incentive for students to participate is great aside from feeling good about helping others, prizes have included visits from well-known comedy groups, personal addresses from celebrities, and funding to help with other poverty fighting efforts at the winning school.

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