GlobeMed at the George Washington University

GlobeMed aims to strengthen the movement for global health equity by empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of the impoverished around the world. Through involvement today, students commit to a life of leadership in global health and social justice. GlobeMed at GWU specifically aims to improve the health of the impoverished in solidarity with our Partner RVCP, a grassroots organizations in Southern Rwanda, through self-sustainable programs.
Oct 3, 2012

Fall Report

Hello!

Thank you for following our project through the past couple of years! We appreciate all the support we’ve continued to receive.

After Alex and Melissa returned from Rwanda this summer, we’ve made some pig (ahem, I mean big) changes to the Maternal Health Education Program. For any of you who follow our reports, you’ll know that all the mothers who attend MHEP receive a goat at the end of the 10 sessions.

Over this past summer, however, Melissa and Alex talked with RVCP and the women in MHEP and decided that PIGS would be more beneficial than goats. Pigs reproduce more quickly, which allow the women to sell the offspring more quickly than with the goats. This ensures that they are able to buy more food and necessities for their families. 

Along with this change, we are gearing up for our winter initiative. For the first time, we will be conducting biannual Maternal Health Education Programs to ensure that we are helping the maximum number of women possible.

Alex and Melissa, and members of RVCP, set up a reliable and long-term method of monitoring the results of MHEP. The head of the initiatives in Rwanda will collect surveys from the Rukira clinic and upload them to an online site so that we can all share the results. Once we have a database with enough information, we’ll look to analyze the data. Our hope is to expand the program beyond just Rukira!

Back in DC, our chapter has grown considerably and we’ve welcomed over thirty new members. This past weekend we were able to enjoy the beautiful fall weather on our fall retreat to a pumpkin festival in Virginia. All of our members – new and returning – are excited to begin our year of incredible events and awareness campaigns.

We are gearing up towards our annual 5K run that will occur in November. And already have started planning our big Benefit Dinner to occur Spring 2013. We are excited to get the GW and DC community out and supporting RVCP and the women in Rwanda.

That’s it for this fall’s updates! Short, but sweet. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support! We’ll write back soon to keep you updated, and look out for our Global Giving Match Day!

Feel free to email us with questions or comments!

Much love,

Katy Stewart and Melissa Wong

gwu@globemed.org

Aug 29, 2012

FOOTBALL TOURNAMENTS IN VILLAGE YOUNG PEOPLE

Village Young People in Tournament
Village Young People in Tournament

The RVCP through  a project “Youth Health Education Project (YHEP)”  is carrying out the football tournaments in southern province of Rwanda. This plan was designed for village young people to strengthen their  abilities to improve their health conditions. Youth  club football teams are promoted as a tool for empowerment and education.  The youth club football  teams at tournaments are taught about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS awareness.  The RVCP through  a project “Youth Health Education Project (YHEP)”  is carrying out the football tournaments in southern province of Rwanda. This plan was designed for village young people to strengthen their  abilities to improve their health conditions. Youth  club football teams are promoted as a tool for empowerment and education.

The youth club football  teams at tournaments are taught about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS awareness.

The participation of the community is an  essential aspect in implementing the projects and, more generally, in providing  basic health care. The key actors are people from the community. Through this  they are empowered, gaining greater self-reliance and more active  responsibilities additionally improving their own health. They are therefore  involved in all stages of the Projects; from initial planning through to the  evaluation.

 “Governmental and nongovernmental organizations at all levels could do much more to help  people especially in village youth, change their behavior to avoid HIV and AIDS”

 SPECIFIC  OBJECTIVES

- To effectively  use University  volunteers in  empowering rural village young people

- To create and strengthen youth club football teams through community  visits, mobilization and education.

- To eradicate misconception about HIV/AIDS and cultural norms which  lower the status of HIV infected individuals

- To provide the means of HIV/AIDS protection through distributing condoms and visual and reading  materials at football  tournaments

- To collaborate with urban VCT centers for volunteers to organize mobile VCT services in Huye district

This Tournament 2012 was funded by AECS-Catalonia

Emmanuel Bakundukize,discussing with the Community
Emmanuel Bakundukize,discussing with the Community
HIV awareness Director doing Condom demonstration
HIV awareness Director doing Condom demonstration

Links:

Jul 24, 2012

A Visit to RVCP's Hygiene Initiative

Alex, Lucien, and I after an education session
Alex, Lucien, and I after an education session

While I lived in Rwanda for 8 weeks, having the most incredible experience of my life on GlobeMed's GrassRoots Onsite Work Internship, I was fortunate enough to visit the Hygiene Program with the program's director, Lucien Nzayirata. In addition to being a student studying Agriculture at the National University of Rwanda, Lucien is in charge of ensuring that the Hygiene Program runs smoothly throughout the year. As he described to us, the Hygiene Program strives to educate local villages about proper and healthy hygiene, choosing one primary school per year where volunteers in the program will help to teach education sessions about hygiene. Volunteers in the Hygiene Program also visit the homes of many of the children's families and conduct at home education sessions. At the end of the academic year, RVCP volunteers select four families from those they visited and build a toilet at each home, giving the family the chance to have a happier, healthier, and more hygienic home. 

 

I accompanied Lucien to a local primary school to observe an education session. The children, whose ages ranged from about 7-12 years old, were very enthusiastic to learn and to respond to what Lucien was describing. Lucien spoke energetically and did a fantastic job of engaging the children about various topics, such as how to properly store water, how to handle foods to be cooked, and how to maintain proper personal hygiene with regards to Rwandan etiquette. The Hygiene Program at large develops a manual of information to disseminate amongst its volunteers who teach education sessions so as to standardize and regulate the information given to the students and their families.

 

I was very impressed both by how well Lucien's messages seemed to be received by the kids and also by how great of a teacher Lucien was. By reaching out to rural primary schools, actively engaging these children at a young age to follow proper hygenic practices, and attempting to spread hygenic knowledge and capacity to their families, RVCP is truly making a difference in the lives of rural Rwandan families through its Hygiene Program.

Lucien teaching primary students about hygiene
Lucien teaching primary students about hygiene

Links:

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