Role of Students and Universities in Socials Development
This statement speaks about the participation of students of universities in Social Development in the form of NGO activities, looking at the successful experiences of Imam Ali Relief society.
Poverty eradication, especially in developing countries, is strongly interrelated to cultural and educational problems. In other words, poverty is not just having no money, but also having no literacy, life skills, appropriate behavior, especially with children, and lack of many similar knowledge which are causes also effects of poverty circle. So nobody can be successful in "Poverty Reduction" even by spending or giving a large amount of money to poor people directly, unless involving in cultural issues.
College time can be a proper opportunity for social activities. Students in that period of life have many desirable features to be involved with social issues, like poverty. They have ability to educate poor children, become a good model for them, changing their life style and generally, be effective in fading out the images of culture of poverty. The most important skill such an organization should have, is to manage human resources in a good manner.
Imam Ali Relief Society has established in 1999 by three Students of Sharif University of technology , one of the best engineering schools and since then, many students, as large as thousands, from different universities, all over the country, have been involved in many projects and plans related to poverty as volunteer.
This innovative idea has had many remarkable achievements in poverty elimination field and is recommended as a pattern for inspiration of similar student groups. Making networks in the universities, keeping the integrity of the system, making proper written procedures and training students correctly are some important topics to concern.
The procedure can be defined as below steps:
1- Recognizing poor families especially in poor areas and slums
2- Making a center for deployment of volunteers and scheduling the projects.
3- Evaluating of feedbacks and improving plans.
Projects are about educating out of school children, life skills trainings, empowering women, health consulting, school consultancy services and art and sport activities for distressed children parallel to some financial supports of their families.
The brilliant achievements of this approach can be described as below:
- Making scholars familiar with poverty issues and social problems
- Planning for spare times of university students
- Spreading out these thoughts throughout students who spend various levels of their education in different universities and different cities.
- Making a social network against poverty in different cities, even in different countries and making people in contact with students such as their families and professors involved with poverty issues and attract founding.
- The most important point in this view is that human resources play an effective role rather than financial ones.
-This kind of organization in case of appropriate function has potentials to become a sort of social movement against hunger, illiteracy, violence and human right violations.
-In Special conditions like war, disaster and international sanctions, such an organization in a country can prevent many injuries to civilians specially children. These kinds of NGOs, due to their student nature, neutrality and their trustable reputtion among their nation and also international community, can be a strong bridge between international civil society and their humanitarian aids and civilians, especially poor people who would get the most damages from sanctions.
Making intellectual part of the society involved in poverty eradication will higher the probability of creation of innovative projects and ideas and will establish link the creative idealist taught and pragmatism.