Skyline siblings spoke at United Nation conference for a cause
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Two students from Skyline College were invited to the United Nations (U.N.) conference to present their projects in order to gain awareness for their causes.
Judah and Nena Darwin were invited by Manav Subdodh, founder of “A Million for A Billion” (1M1B) to be a part of his organization which led them to go to the United Nations Conference.
Subdodh’s organization 1M1B, stands for creating jobs and enterprises in order to help indigenous and under served communities as the official website states:
“Activate 1 million young leaders and entrepreneurs who will drive 1 billion people out of poverty.”
Even though the projects are different, they are interconnected in helping people from other countries to make a difference.
Nena Darwin’s project is called “Project Release,” which is a scholarship fund for at risk children and victims of human trafficking.
“By at risk, I mean children who are impoverished or don’t really have any other access to education otherwise without our scholarship,” Nena Darwin said.
Nena Darwin elaborated that “Project Release” is meant to aide those who seek to have an opportunity to educate themselves and want to have a fresh start.
She is in partnership with her friends who helped with the project which began in December 2013. Her partners help with the establishment of the funding for the scholarship by making bracelets and scarves which were sold to friends and family.
Then it evolved into a bigger aspect of working with local villages in India where the siblings bought their raw materials to sustain the community economically, specific to their trade in an effort to not outsource them. The raw materials are used to make final products to sell in order to fund the scholarship and sustain the villages.
She also elaborated that this is in effort to decrease the risk of human trafficking by providing the local area with financial resources.
For “Project Release,” the inspiration came from the lack of awareness of human trafficking and slavery, which is still prevalent in India today.
“Initially I wanted to educate people about that,” she said. “It kind of spurred into, ‘how can I really stop or prevent human trafficking at its source?’ so just empathizing with the fact that people don’t know these kind of things and it’s such a huge problem in our world.”
Smart Village Project
Judah Darwin, is a part of the Communications Team of Smart Villages where he explained that the project has taken off in December 2016 beginning with their father’s village, Mori in Andhra Pradesh, where their father grew up before leaving for the United States.
“It’s about empowering people in villages by giving them tools from Silicon Valley companies,” Judah Darwin said. “Essentially we’re uplifting them and helping them help themselves without changing their culture and their traditions.”
Judah who’s working with Subodh is a spokesman for Berkeley Fellow and gives guest lectures at various universities and events which led to meeting Nena and Judah Darwin’s father who helped start the project with Subdodh.
The funding for the project comes from the village’s state government who was already interested in it from the beginning. So far, there has been a collaboration between the United States and the Central Indian government to create more smart cities.
“It’s a community using the internet of things,” he said. [It’s] making things more efficient, more cost effective and creating more of a simple life style for people in cities but transferred the idea into smart villages where it creates a smarter community to India.”
After the U.N. Conference, the Darwins were contacted via email for a follow up on what happened.
Both of the siblings have successfully connected with the attendees there, specifically Nena Darwin who made affiliations with organizations who want to work with her in efforts to combat human trafficking. Judah Darwin managed to network with other organizations as well, but mostly for a possible future in politics.
One piece of advice was given by Darwin when it comes to wanting to make a change. He began that it begins with a person working on themselves.
“Be what you believe and other people will follow, society changes with individuals and individual communities,” he said. See what you can do for yourself and the people around you and together we can take on society.”