Atterbury a last resort for preventable problem

From: Kyla Foley

Columbus, Indiana

I am proud to be from Columbus, Indiana. I am proud to be from a city that never stops learning. I am proud to be from a city that opens its doors and launches into action to help people from around the world.

But what if we don’t have to be a city that helps after the fact? What if we could be part of preventing crises and building life-saving infrastructure around the world?

Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, but it’s also one of the poorest. Millions of people live in poverty (which the United Nations defines as less than $1.90 a day), and don’t have access to the resources they need to meet their basic needs of food, water and shelter.

When people are unable to meet their basic needs, they become unstable. Such instability among individuals, villages and countries then leads to war. Global poverty is ultimately a defense issue. Perhaps instead of fighting wars we have little knowledge of, we could be providing aid in the form of wells, meals and vaccines to countries that need it most. This kind of foreign aid not only helps people, but strengthens our allies, our economic potential and our global power abroad.

I urge the United States to protect our Afghan allies, and to make a home for them here. For example, the ways in which Camp Atterbury and Columbus have rallied around the Afghan refugees who find themselves here is a testament to true hospitality. Nevertheless, I urge the United States, Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun, and Representative Greg Pence to end global poverty now. Take a step toward preventing conflict and aiding people where they are.

I urge us all to call, email and write our congressional leaders, and to stand with The Borgen Project, a nonprofit organization that, through advocacy efforts by people like myself, aims to make global poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy. Let’s rewrite the ways we approach caring for our global neighbors. I am proud of you, Columbus, but let’s do better.