Homework: Student Voices November 24, 2008

Area students take world views on concerns such as war-torn Uganda, poaching and the careless use of plastic bags.

Helping impoverished, war-torn Uganda? Priceless

•   In America most people have enough supplies to survive and some have more than enough. There are some communities in Northern Uganda, however, that have so little. With that, the sick and elderly die because they lack food, clean water and medicine. War has destroyed schools in Northern Uganda, making going to school part of the past.
  A group called the Invisible Children travels around the United States and informs high school students of the living conditions for Northern Ugandans. That is how I learned that many of their schools have been bombed and destroyed by a war that has been going on for 23 years between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the government of Uganda. People have been forced out of their homes and forced to live in huts by the LRA. These huts are unsanitary and not what homes should be. Children have been abducted from their families and parents killed, leaving behind loved ones to live on their own.
  The average living conditions in the U.S. are better than in Northern Uganda by far. For those who can afford to buy designer clothes and eat out as much as you want, I dream that you will share your wealth and help improve the lives of others who can’t improve their own.
  Many Americans spend large amounts of money on clothing to be fashionable, and some are addicted to shopping. We should save some money we spend for fun to be fashionable or “fit in” to help Ugandan children live healthy lives and get the basic supplies they need.
  Fruita Monument High School is raising money for the Schools for Schools program created by the group Invisible Children to rebuild schools in Uganda and help educate its students. Donating money is just one way you can help improve their lives. We need to come together as a community and form more groups that can improve lives of other poor communities around the world.

Lacey Franco, 17, Fruita Monument High School

Staff up DOW to bring down poaching
•   Poaching animals has become a big factor in our lives, because we are losing more animals than ever. Poaching occurs throughout the world, and it threatens the survival of animals. Many animals that are already about to be extinct are going down even quicker because of poaching. We can prevent these crimes by increasing Division of Wildlife officers and requiring clarification to enter hunting areas. By doing this, we will increase animal populations. Hunters who will utilize the food will hopefully harvest the trophies first so there is no trophy for the poachers to poach for money. If we all do our part to turn in poachers when we see them poaching or trespassing, we won’t lose as many animals each year.

Owen Taylor, 13, East Middle School

Cut down on plastic waste

• Convenience for humans can mean death for other creatures.
Too many people are using plastic bags, which impair our environment and harm living creatures. Plastic bags are affecting our planet, because we often carelessly dispose of them. When a plastic bag is thrown out on the street and it rains, the bag gets sucked down into the sewer. Of course, the sewers lead to a river, so the plastic bag is spit out into the river.
  Once the plastic bag has entered the river, it becomes a hazard to any creature in its path. Otters, fish and birds are just a few of the animals that can become entangled.
  If, by chance, the bag makes it out of the river without ensnaring an innocent being, it’s whooshed out into the ocean where it becomes even more of a danger. Turtles, fish, dolphins, birds, lobsters and other sea animals are threatened when a plastic bag enters the ocean.
  Plastic bags can harm an animal by enclosing it so that the creature is trapped. The bag can become twisted around a mouth or beak so that the animal cannot eat. Also, some animals try to eat the bag and end up choking and dying.
  To help prevent plastic bag waste, we can purchase an eco-friendly bag available at grocery stores in our town. Or, if we buy only one or two items, then we can tell the clerk that we don’t need a bag and just carry it out instead. If we are all more eco-friendly with plastic bags, then innocent creatures won’t have to suffer.

Genesee Young, 14, Grand Junction High School


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