On Tuesday April 3rd, President Bill Clinton launched a new Clinton Global Initiative at the University of Miami focusing on post disaster recovery.
The Clinton Foundation brought 350 leaders from government, business, and civil society to discuss strategies to support communities affected by recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Irma and Harvey. Officials such as Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, Municipality of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and former president of the University of Miami Donna E. Shalala were in attendance in support of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).
The purpose of this event was to build off the current work of the Clinton Foundation. Projects such as the CGI Haiti Action Network that have raised $500 million in sectors like health, education, and infrastructure.
University of Miami students had the opportunity to volunteer through the Butler Center as representatives of the Miami community.
Freshman Peter Aronson served in 3 roles during the launch through guest registration, government office hours “where organizations would meet with governmental bodies for a few minutes to discussing issues and solution” and in access where he monitored credentials. The marine science, biology, and ecosystem science major saw this opportunity as worthwhile and asborded a great deal from the experience.
“I’d say the most important thing I learned about was the role of international aid organizations and businesses in developed countries in assisting developing countries in times of disaster.”
When asked what UM students could do to help countries such as Puerto Rico after times of hardship, Aronson said, “UM students can firstly learn about disasters and their implications on the people most affected…People should also fully understand what the money they are donating is going towards.”
Freshman Noor Khaled (left of President Clinton) also served as a volunteer at the Clinton Foundation event. The international studies and economics major had the opportunity to meet the governor of the Virgin Islands Kenneth Mapp as well as serve as a note taker, in government registration, and government office hours.
Khaled believes even though the launch was tough it was worthwhile and has been interested in events such as this.
“I’m interested in seeing how change is executed. This is the first step, brainstorming. I’m very impressed with the work that I saw firsthand today and I became excited for my future hopefully as a contributor or catalyst to a better world.”
University of Miami students were able to see how real change occurs first hand through a unique opportunity with the Clinton Global Initiative. The launch reinforced that there is still work to be done to help our fellow citizens in the Caribbean and the Clinton Foundation has made a great first step in a proactive direction.
For more information on how to get involved with the Clinton Global Initiative visit their website and for more resources about helping Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Irma visit to learn more about Para La Naturaleza commitment to planting trees in the country.