GlobeMed at Columbia University

GlobeMed aims to strengthen the movement for global health equity by empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world. GlobeMed is an international community of students and grassroots organizations who form long-term partnerships, the heart of GlobeMed's model. Together, the chapter and partner organization implement specific health and development projects, communicating on every aspect from initial design to monitoring and evaluation. In just four years, GlobeMed established chapters at 46 universities across the United States, inspiring thousands of students to become lifelong advocates for global health equity. We co...
Jan 7, 2014

New Year, New Beginning

Bosco during a Village Savings and Loan meeting
Bosco during a Village Savings and Loan meeting

Happy New Year! This is a time for us all to refresh our lives and consider what is most important to us.  As we enter 2014, we wanted to share with you a Story of Change about Bosco, who was also able to have a fresh start because of GWED-G.  Please consider supporting our project and helping more men and women like Bosco be role models in their communities.

This is Bosco's story:

Bosco is a personal testimony to the impact of peer education. Before joining one of GWED-G's youth group, he recalls being very angry with his situation in the world. Now, he says he has hope to one day have a family where the priority is on health and education. 

Bosco is the Secretary for the Palema Youth Group supported by GWED-G. Part of GlobeMed at Columbia’s HIV/AIDS prevention project involves engaging men in the fight against HIV/AIDS and targeting younger generations to adopt healthy behaviors early. As a member of the Palema Youth Group, Bosco acts as a “Positive Male Role Model,” advocating for healthy living through his actions. Instead of formal educational events, Bosco will start conversations with his peers during normal recreational activities and teach youth about safe sex practices and the consequences of gender-based violence that affect an entire community. The Palema Youth Group also has their own Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA), where every month youth save a portion of their income in a village bank and gain interest on their savings. The group can loan money for members’ investments and provide emergency assistance to members in needs. In phase 3 of GlobeMed at Columbia’s project, the youth group will decide on a communally owned income-generating activity to supplement their VSLA savings.

 

Happy New Year!

Menaka and Nicole

Links:

Dec 9, 2013

Stories of Change

Lucie on her farm
Lucie on her farm

As GlobeMed at Columbia continues our Individual Giving campaign this holiday season, we wanted to share with you another story of change about the impact that our project has had on individual lives in Gulu, Uganda. This story is Lucie's. As you read her story, please consider supporting our project so we can write more stories just as impactful as hers. 

This is Lucie's story.  

Lucie is an HIV positive single mother of four children. She is trained as a Human Rights Volunteer, Community Health Worker, and caretaker with GWED-G. As a Human Rights Volunteer, she holds sensitization events in her community about human rights and HIV/AIDS awareness, and as a Community Health Worker and caretaker, she makes regular visits to rural villages to educate people about their HIV/AIDS status and to make home visits and referrals to sick people in her community. Even though she has four children to take care of, she gives up time farming her own land to do all her work on a volunteer basis because she believes in making a difference in her community.

Before her involvement with GWED-G, she was not receiving treatment for her HIV/AIDS, and she was too weak to farm her land. Her neighbors started taking parts of her land away from her, saying she did not deserve to own land that she was not going to use. As a single mother of four children, she was unable to support her family and did not feel like she had enough authority in her community to fight for her right to property and health care. After attending a human rights education session organized by GWED-G in her community, she was connected with legal counsel that got her back her land and was referred to a local health center to receive treatment for her HIV/AIDS. She no longer believes her status as an HIV positive woman justifies her marginalization. Now, she is not only one of GWED-G’s most active volunteers, she is integral to all of GlobeMed at Columbia’s project objectives.

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Nov 22, 2013

This I believe

To our friends, family, and supporters,

To celebrate the beginning of GlobeMed at Columbia's Individual Giving campain, we asked our chapter members to write "This I believe" statements to share with their family and friends as they talk about what GlobeMed has meant to them. The responses were beautiful, with members saying "I believe that inaction towards global disparity is unacceptable," and "I believe that everyone deserves to achieve happiness."  And we began to think about how GlobeMed's partnership with the Gulu Women's Economic Development and Globalization has influenced what we believe in. Some of the most meaningful lessons we have learned have come through the stories we have witnessed in our time at GlobeMed. And so this will be the theme of our Individual Giving campaign for the winter of 2013: the stories that shape what we believe. Every other week, we will share the story of an individual who has inspired us to believe in the work that GWED-G is doing. Our Individual Giving campaign is dedicated to these men and women. As you read these stories and consider the values and beliefs that have shaped your life, we hope you consider supporting our project during this holiday season.  

Alice: age 29

            At first, Alice didn’t know she was HIV positive, but she heard rumors in her village that her husband was infected.  However, she ignored them because she didn’t want to take the issue seriously.  When asked to get tested, Alice refused, afraid that she would have to take drugs.  It was very difficult for her to believe that she might be positive.  Even when she became pregnant at age 26, she decided again not to test herself. 

            Finally, a GWED-G campaign changed her mind.  A few of Alice’s friends convinced her to attend a community sensitization session with them.  As she listened to the program, she heard about other mothers who were able to have healthy babies, despite the fact that they were HIV positive. When she went home that night, she talked to her husband and told him that they needed to go to the hospital to get tested.  Unfortunately, when the results came in, both her and her husband were diagnosed as HIV positive.

            After realizing that she had the virus, Alice became incredibly stressed and didn’t want to talk to anyone.  Feeling helpless and confused, Alice approached Grace, one of GWED-G’s Village Health workers and HIV caretakers, asking for help.  Grace counseled Alice and visited her in her home.  When Alice heard that GWED-G’s HIV program was looking to support HIV positive mothers, she said she was interested.  After talking to her and her husband, GWED-G enrolled her in a program focused on prevention of mother to child trasmission of HIV.

            Thanks to the services provided in the program, Alice delivered an HIV negative baby.  She says that GWED-G’s intervention changed her life, because otherwise she would have just given birth at home with no antenatal care and her baby would most likely have been HIV positive.  Because Alice shared the knowledge she learned from the sensitization with her husband, he chose to support her decision to become part of the program and even joined with her.  When GWED-G gave the family bean seeds, her husband helped her farm the land and plant them.  Currently, Alice has given birth to two healthy HIV negative boys.  

 

This story inspired us to believe in the power of community action to create tangible change.  If you believe in the power of this story as well, we hope you will consider supporting this project.

In solidarity,

Nicole Dussault and Menaka Dhingra

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