You can be proud of a small contribution! This way you can help even though you are busy

I want to dedicate this blog post to you who every now and then wakes up to the world around you. When you are watching the news, you see there is a crisis somewhere. When you read an advertisement for a development cooperation organisation, you understand how difficult it is for a child in a poor country to start school. You want to help. You intend to donate to a collection box but you do not have any cash on you right now. You plan on making a bank transfer later. You forget to make the bank transfer. You once became a monthly donor but you soon cancelled your monthly donations because it is not possible for a student to regularly pay anything else but the rent.

Sometimes you think about how fortunate you are when you can study your dream field and have an influence on matters around you. You decide to look for some more information about how you could contribute to that young adults in other countries could also have the same opportunities. Then the week comes when you have two exams one after another and, actually, you should already have written your essay. After a while your life becomes less busy and you happily spend your spare time with your friends. Now you feel that you do not have the energy to search for a donation number or further information about the campaign on the Internet.

You would like to help and receive more information but you already have so much to do in your spare time that you much rather watch Netflix, meet your friends or go jogging.

Someone once said that you should start with small choices. So what can an ordinary student do?

You can at least listen to the offered information. Even if you do not become a monthly donor, you can listen to the face-to-face fundraiser’s expertise. You can read updates on what is going on with SYL’s development cooperation sector on SYL’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

You can start off with one choice at the grocery store. If you buy Fairtrade products on those days when you receive your student financial aid, it gradually becomes a habit. Perhaps you become aware of how sustainable your other choices are. You remember that the face-to-face fundraiser told you how products with exploitative prices cause problems for the community.

You can make a small donation to the organisation when you pay your other bills. You notice that your student organisation will throw a charity party. Sometimes you can help by partying.

Donating to charity is the same as buying Christmas presents but it can feel even better! You can give a present to someone who really needs it.

Start here:

  1. Gain knowledge: How difficult is it for a student with a disability to go to university in Ethiopia? What difficulties are there in improving Mayan students’ citizenship skills in Guatemala? Follow this blog and receive information about SYL’s upcoming development cooperation projects and what they aim at.
  2. You can, for example, start by buying Fairtrade bananas.
  3. Skip one beer and donate the money to SYL’s fundraising campaign. It is a small amount for you, but for us every little bit helps, together with other similar contributions.

 Do not give up. The most important thing is that you want to do something. You can be proud of a small contribution.

Elina Honkanen                    

Master’s student of History of Science and Ideas              

KENKKU member

Student Union of the University of Oulu