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The Foundation for the Awareness and Alleviation of Poverty (FAAP), a new student organization, is organizing its first charity exhibition, Aftermath, to benefit earthquake relief efforts by the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan.

Students are invited to submit original artwork, photography, poetry, stories, songs, plays, essays, or books read on the topic of poverty for display by Wednesday, Nov. 16. For information, email Vanessa Arajo-Lopera ’08(Woodhaven, N.Y.), FAAP president.

Aftermath will explore the individual’s perception of and reaction to incidents resulting in poverty and/or homelessness. It illustrates that events such as Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Southeast Asia, earthquake in Pakistan, terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, genocide, slavery, bad state laws and government policy, and weaknesses in education systems all contribute to poverty and homelessness.

The exhibition is being organized to encourage students to express their thoughts on poverty and convey them to the campus and surrounding community as a complement to Hunger and Homelessness Week.

“We believe that by having an exhibition of works created by students we can see what people think of poverty and have others come and stir their curiosity,” says Arajo-Lopera, an international economics and commerce major. “Events such as these attract many different groups of people and that is what we want to accomplish. We want people to participate as well as attend the event so they can be educated on how Lafayette views poverty. That is the first step to helping alleviate it.”

The following events will take place in conjunction with Aftermath:

Thursday, Nov. 17
City of God screening, 8-9 p.m. at Limburg Theater.

Friday, Nov. 18
Brown bag discussion led by Dana Kenny from ProJeCt for People, an Easton-based human services organization, noon-1 p.m. in Marlo Room West, Farinon Center. Lunch will be served.

Monday, Nov. 21
-Aftermath opens, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. in Marlo Room East, Farinon.
-Open Mic with Writing Organization Reaching Dynamic Students (W.O.R.D.S), 9 p.m. at Gilbert’s Café.

Tuesday, Nov. 22
-Fasting to represent children who go to sleep hungry every night. Sign up Nov. 21 during lunchtime at Farinon.
-Reception for Aftermath, 8-10:30 p.m. Marlo Room East, with performances by JAMM, W.O.R.D.S., WJRH, and more.

“The inspiration for this exhibition came from all of the natural disasters that have recently occurred. There is a correlation between events [such as these] and poverty,” says Arajo-Lopera. “The beauty of art is that it can be interpreted in many different ways. For a topic such as poverty, everyone feels differently about it and can express their feelings as they wish or look at someone else’s interpretation and develop their own opinion.”

Sponsors for Aftermath include Heritage of Latin America floor (HOLA), Nia, International Students Association, JAMM, WJRH, W.O.R.D.S., and Hispanic Society of Lafayette (HSL).

FAAP was founded last year by international affairs major Al Amin-Keraj ’08 (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) to spread the knowledge and recognition of worldwide poverty and to cooperate with organizations on campus, in Easton, and abroad that work toward the alleviation of poverty, and to assist them through fundraisers, ideas, and social services.

In addition to her position at FAAP, Lopera is a POSSE Scholar, volunteers with Spanish Club for Kids, and serves as public relations chair for HSL and head of the community education committee for Engineers Without Borders. She also works at the Williams Center Art Gallery, the language lab, and is a night manager at Gilbert’s Café.

Categorized in: Students