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Posted: March 26, 2013 10:14 p.m.

Changing the global workforce

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If one were to ask an average 19-year-old about the work force, most young adults would go on to talk about their long hours bussing tables in a restaurant or folding clothes in retail, but not Farina Wares. If Wares were to answer this question, she would go on to talk about the unfair working conditions and practices in parts of the world and how she hopes to change them someday.

Wares saw much of the world growing up. By the time she had reached college, she had lived in many places across the globe including London, Bangladesh, New Zealand and California.

While every place helped shaped who she is today, it was her time in Bangladesh when she realized her true calling.

Wares’ whole family is from Bangladesh. Located east of India, Bangladesh is globally known for being a prime garment manufacturer, but with that comes corrupt, unfair and dangerous labor practices. The workers at the factories are overworked, underpaid and are forced to work in high-risk conditions.

Bangladesh has been making international headlines lately due to the high fatalities from its various garment factory fires that spawn from the hazardous working conditions.

Many people in Bangladesh live in poverty due to the corrupt working conditions.

They manage to live off about $2 a day to feed their families, but that is all. Extra money does not exist in the event of illness or for those with disabilities. Also, due to the poor working conditions and the high population, job security is not promised. Workers are expendable. If one thing goes wrong, a worker is fired and replaced in the blink of an eye as if he or she is simply a speck of dirt.

This is a common reality of not only Bangladeshis, but 2.6 billion people globally who live below the poverty line, according to the United Nations.

If anything, this breaks Wares’ heart.

“I believe that we are privileged to be born to our families, and, therefore, we should work hard not to reward ourselves with luxuries but to give back to the community and beyond,” Wares said. “We should give back to those people who struggle for basics as well as human rights.”

Growing up, Wares saw these conditions come to life as she visited Bangladesh often. She knew she needed to make a change.

After a careful and long thought out decision, Wares decided to attend Oxford College in July 2012. Wares’ goal is to major in business at the Goizueta Business School or major in economics and developmental studies. She knows with a top-notch education she will acquire the skills she will need to make an impact on the labor force back in Bangladesh.

Wares hopes to help with trading between companies so business deals are less corrupt, and she wants to help the workers gain the treatment and rights they deserve.

“My dream is to encourage people to live simple lives and inspire them that they can make a difference in others’ lives,” Wares said. “The world is very unequal and everything I do will go towards the goal of bringing fairness and equality to people less privileged than me.”

While Wares still has about a year until business school, she is already working toward making that change in the world. An avid photographer, Wares has taken many photos on her trips to Bangladesh to capture the extreme poverty people are living in. She shares these photos to help bring awareness and affect the people there.

She also helped create a Facebook page called, “Reviving Bangladesh,” where she writes about the country in hopes of drawing more attention towards helping Bangladesh. This page also includes “green tips” for the people in Bangladesh to be more environmentally conscious.

The compassion Wares has for helping people is powerful. Her selflessness is truly an inspiration to those around her, who believe with her drive, she will definitely make a positive impact on the world’s impoverished people one day.

Until then, Wares still has to complete her sophomore year at Oxford College next year where she will continue to make a positive impact on the campus.

Wares serves on the executive board of two clubs, volunteers with the Path Project and Volunteer Oxford, is an active member of the Oxford Amnesty International club and plays the guitar in her free time.

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