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Thursday, July 07, 2022

Model United Nations to collect donations for African families

The UF Model United Nations will spread awareness about malaria prevention during United Nations Day today.

This year's theme for United Nations Day is improving the standard of global health.

Model UN President Justin Berlin said the group will collect donations for Nothing But Nets, a campaign that provides mosquito bed nets to malaria-prone areas in Africa.

Each net costs ,10 and is given to African families that are at risk.

Berlin, a political science junior, said Model UN will pass out blue awareness ribbons on the Plaza of the Americas from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The group will have a Nothing But Nets basketball session by having people shoot baskets in a Fisher-Price basketball hoop, he said.

Berlin said the group will also paint a blue mural on the 34th Street Wall in honor of the national holiday.

The Model UN organization discusses current events on a weekly basis and raises money for nonprofit organizations.

Team members attend competitions and represent countries while researching foreign policies, Berlin said.

"We usually try to represent countries that aren't very prominent," he said.

Lesser-known countries have unique policies that allow the Model UN team to be more creative, he said.

Despite representing UF at national and regional conferences, Berlin said many people don't know what the organization does.

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"Some people actually ask me if it's a modeling agency," he said.

The group's next conference, the Southern Regional Model United Nations, will take place in Atlanta from Nov. 15 to Nov. 17.

The group took first place at the conference last year and promised to attend again, Berlin said.

The organization plans to take about 33 members to represent Cameroon, Yemen and Guatemala, he said.

UF's Model UN has a diverse membership of about 100 active students, Berlin said. This includes members from Ghana and Latin America, he said.

A lot of different majors are also represented.

"We have everything from engineering majors to women's studies majors," he said.

Berlin said UF's Model UN plans to travel to about eight conferences this year, including ones in Chicago, New Orleans and New York City.

Berlin said these opportunities allow members to compete with peers from Yale University, Harvard University and Duke University.

"And we beat them a lot of the time," he said.

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