PUC Raises Almost $19,000 for Work in Africa

FIGHTING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: PUC graduate Kimberly Osborn describes inhumane conditions for prisoners in Guinea-Conakry, West Africa. [Haley Wesley]Source: Adventist Review

[April 30, 2007] Following a presentation on March 15 concerning the human rights violations of prisoners in Guinea-Conakry, West Africa, Pacific Union College (PUC) students, faculty, and staff donated $18,745 to aid a prisoner advocacy program.

Kimberly Osborn, a social activist who graduated from PUC in 2004, described for attendees her former work in the western Africa country. She said that about 27 percent of the 800 men in the prison system are severely malnourished and most of them have been illegally detained.

“If things continue at the rate they are going, one in ten men entering this prison [in Guinea-Conakry] this year will die because of starvation,” said Osborn, who helped to establish the prisoner advocacy program in Guinea-Conakry. Osborn encouraged the college students and faculty to donate toward medical aid and court-processing fees.

It costs $50 to hospitalize a malnourished prisoner and save their life, and only $15 to put someone through the court system so they can be released, Osborn says.

“If everyone here donated the amount that you spend on one Giugni’s sandwich [from a deli in St. Helena], think of the amazing thing that PUC could do,” Osborn said. “I’m here to challenge you to realize that you can never give enough. And that ultimately, in the giving, you are blessed beyond all measure. This is a privilege.”

Osborn, who left for Africa in late March, plans to work as a volunteer in Guinea-Conakry for four months before beginning a graduate program in International Relations with an emphasis on African studies at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.