Dear GlobeMed at University of Cincinnati Supporters,
We first would like to thank all of you for your continued support since our founding in 2011. We would not be where we are today without people like you supporting us. To those of you who participated in GlobalGiving's Bonus Day, we appreciate your generosity towards our cause and were able to raise nearly $300 in just a few hours! As we near the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year, we are just $1,000 shy of our $14,000 for the 2013-2014 school year. We were able to send enough money to Social Action for Women to start the implementation of the Community Health Outreach Program (CHOP) Phase III which focuses on the expansion of reproductive and preventative health education workshops as well as the creation of a personal and dental hygiene education program in migrant schools.
For six weeks during May and June, the 2014 GROW team was able to work closely with Social Action for Women to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our partnership and projects. We are very excited to utilize this feedback to plan an even more impactful project for this upcoming year and continue to strengthen our amazing relationship with our incredible partner. We have been very fortunate to be partnered with such generous, kind-hearted, and compassionate individuals at Social Action for Women and look forward to the life-changing work we will do in the next few years. To learn more about what the GROW team did this summer, check out their blog found in the links below!
As we approach the beginning of the new school year, Codee (Internal Co-President for 2014/15) and I are preparing to attend the GlobeMed Leadership Institute. We are very excited to come together with the rest of the network's co-presidents and other delegates for a weekend of leadership workshops, global health talk, and GlobeMed fun! We can't wait to use the skills and tools from this conference to help shape and plan the upcoming year and hopefully have even greater success than we have in the past.
As our chapter starts to become more and more established, we cannot help but think of those of you who have been supporting us since the beginning. We hope that you feel connected to our mission and work still and that you feel as though you have grown along with us. Thank you so much for anything and everything you have done to help our chapter and know that we value your role in our success.
Yours in Health,
Ceejay & Codee Boyce, Co-Presidents
Dear GlobeMed at University of Cincinnati supporters,
We have wrapped up our school year and cannot be more grateful for all the support we have received from donors, students, faculty, family and friends! Looking back on our year, we have accomplished so much in our third year on campus. We have held 13 campaigns and 4 external globalhealthU events, we have built a chapter nearly 50 members strong, and have continued to gain recognition and visibility on both our west and east campuses.
We have also worked throughout the year to strengthen our partnership with Social Action for Women. This year, we said goodbye to our partner contact Thwin Linn Aung as he returned to his home country, Burma, and began a new career working with student activists. Fortunately, his replacement was our translator from the 2013 GROW trip: Aung Tun Linn. Aung has been great to work with and will hopefully to continue to be our partner contact and GROW translator for the next few years.
This year, not only did we say goodbye to Thwin, we also had quite a few seniors graduate. The following chapter members graduated this spring: Julia Tasset, Stephanie Lux, Mahima Venkatesh, Charles Ebersbacher, Daniel Ruter, Madeline Niederkorn, Jarred Campbell, Alyssa Vah, and Erin Slater. All of these amazing individuals have put a lot of time and dedication into our chapter and all held a position on the Executive Board during their time in GlobeMed. We are grateful to have such an amazing chapter and now a bright group of alumni.
We were able to raise a little over $12,000 in just nine months to go towards our project and we hope to continue to fundraise throughout the summer so we can ensure implementation of our personal and dental hygiene project. As this year’s co-presidents, Mahima and I are so impressed by the work our chapter members put in to making this year a success. While we faced some challenges, especially with some of our campaign ideas, we still came out on top and have gained some wonderful and talented new members! As our journey comes to a close for the year, the 2014 GROW team will soon be embarking on their 6-week internship at Social Action for Women. Please check out the team’s blog here for updates and more information about their trip!
Thank you for your support!
Ceejay Boyce and Mahima VenkateshCo-Presidents, GlobeMed at UC
Since our last update, we have been able to raise 50% of our fundraising goal of $14,000. We are so thankful to have such a dedicated support network. Since November, we have been able to have several successful campaigns and awareness events at the University of Cincinnati. We have partnered with our local Potbelly’s, the Asian American Association, and Colleges Against Cancer for various campaigns. We have celebrated World Peace Day, united on World AIDS Day, and are working on an awareness event and video for World Day of Social Justice on February 20th.
While we have been busy raising money and awareness on campus, our partner – Social Action for Women (SAW) – has been busy providing education workshops for Burmese migrants on the topics of reproductive health, preventative health, and mental health. Since our last update, SAW has conducted over ten workshops in the various communities in the Phop Phra region of Thailand. They have been able to reach out to over 300 community members and help them understand the importance of good mental health, contraceptives, and seeking medical attention when needed.
Though we work specifically on our one project with SAW – the Community Health Outreach Program (CHOP) – SAW’s work in Thailand is much more expansive and impactful. They have nearly 20 programs to help victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, and unemployment. Included in this report is a link to a video that shows the difference SAW is making in Thailand. We encourage all of our donors and supporters to watch this video to help you understand how incrediable this organization is and how important their work, and our project, is to the Burmese migrants living in Thailand.
Our hope is to reach our fundraising goal by May of this year so we can begin the implementation of CHOP III in June. The Community Health Outreach Program is a project very close to the hearts of GlobeMed at UC members, SAW staff and the community members in the Phop Phra region. The direct impact of this project alone will reach over 1300 adults and children who would not have access to hygiene education otherwise. By implementing this project we will be able to help these communities prevent diseases, increase their job productivity and incomes, and hopefully extend their lives. We hope that you will continue to support our cause and spread the word about this project and its impact on the people in rural Thailand. We cannot thank you enough for all of your help thus far but we will continue to try our best to express our gratitude for your constant support.
Warm Wishes & Thanks,
Ceejay Boyce, Mahima Venkatesh, and the GlobeMed at UC Chapter
We would first like to thank you for all of your support for our project from last year. The Community Health Outreach Program (CHOP), Phase II began implementation in July of this year and has since had many successful Peer Educator-led workshops in the communities. Our partner, Social Action for Women (SAW), sent us some success stories from these workshops and we would like to share one with you.
“My name is Thin Thin Aye (Female, Burmese). I arrived in Thailand in 2010 and started to work in farms cultivating the seasonal crops in Pyaunggyiwin field, Phop Phra area. In 2012, I had been sick several times, I had breathing problems and coughing for about three days each month. I thought it was Tuberculosis but after a medical check-up I found out that it was not. So whenever I had these problems, I just went to the small grocery shops and bought medicine to take. However, it did not help. There were also others who had symptoms like mine in our quarter. They had also gone to the grocery shops and taken the medicines. Then I heard that there would be a workshop about health led by Dr. Htin Zaw and the Mobile Medical Team. I also heard that I could ask whatever I wanted to know about health and, if necessary, they would help me with my health as much as possible. So I attended the workshop.
In this workshop, the participants were asking what they wanted to know and I was also asking about my current health problem. Dr. Htin Zaw explained to me that working in the fields as I did, pouring pesticides on crops, was causing the problems I had. I was breathing in these chemicals and getting a cough and breathing problems because of it. These chemicals were hurting my lungs. He explained to me in detail how to prevent these chemicals from endangering my health while at work. After coming back from the workshop, I made sure to do as Dr. Htin Zaw said when I was at work to prevent these health dangers. Then after about three months, my health situation has recovered. I am able to work normally and make the same income as before. By attending this workshop, I was able to get much more knowledge to keep myself safe from the dangerous chemicals. I am also able to share with other people and discuss these problems. Therefore, I think that these health workshops should be done more often in our community because they can be very effective to the people in our community.”
Thin Thin Aye is just one of many community members who feel that these workshops have had a very positive impact on their community. It is for this reason that we have decided to make a third and final phase of the CHOP project our project for this academic year. We are working to raise $14,000 to directly help 1,350 migrants in Phop Phra starting in June 2014 with CHOP III: Peer Educator-led workshops for reproductive and preventative health and personal/dental hygiene programs in migrant schools. We will be funding workshops for Peer Educators to lead in all 58 migrant communities in Phop Phra as well as hygiene programs in migrant schools to help students start good hygiene regimens at a young age.
We are so grateful for everyone who has helped make the Community Health Outreach Program successful thus far and ask for continued support as we maintain and build our partnership with these communities. With your help and support, we have raised over $23,000 for CHOP and impacted over 800 people and counting; all within a span of two years. Without you, none of this would have been possible. So, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.
Ceejay Boyce and Mahima Venkatesh Co-Presidents, GlobeMed at UC
As mentioned in our last update, a team of four GlobeMed at UC members is spending three weeks with our partner—Social Action for Women (SAW)—in Mae Sot, Thailand. The team members are Ceejay Boyce (External Co-President 2013/14), Codee Boyce (Campaigns Coordinator 2013/14), Shanelle Davner (Campaigns Coordinator 2012/13), and Adam Voegele (GROW Coordinator 2012/13). The GROW Internship started on July 30th and the team will be there until August 22nd. As part of the trip, our team will be assessing our partnership with SAW, learning more about the area—including visits with local migrant schools and migrant worker organizations, and observing the implementation of the Community Health Outreach Program Phase II: Training of Peer Educators. Our team is lucky to have to opportunity to see the impact our fundraising has made on the lives of the Burmese migrant workers, women, and children. Our chapter, and partner, cannot thank donors enough for your gracious help in making this second phase of our project possible. In order for you to see how successful our work with SAW has been, here are two stories SAW reported to us from the first phase of CHOP.
As Phase I focused on the importance of educating Burmese migrant workers about reproductive health and preventable diseases like skin diseases, our case studies focus on the importance of education and how educating a group of people within the community to act as points of contact and share all this new information about health can prevent future problems in the community:
“In one case, a woman in one of the workshops said that she was pregnant even after she received a sterilization procedure. After looking into her story, we realized that she had conceived prior to her procedure. We also realized that she misunderstood that even if she had been sterilized, any fertilization prior to the procedure could still result in pregnancy. So we explained what sterilization is and the exact effects of the procedure with her. Before coming to our workshop, she thought that sterilization was not very effective and unreliable. She had shared this uninformed opinion with her friends and they accepted it as fact. After the workshop, she understood the truth and promised that she would correct her misinformation and share the facts with her friends.
In another case, a woman was pregnant after one year of marriage. However, she was unaware of her pregnancy even though there were some signs such as vomiting. She had been working in a job where she was required to carry heavy things. Because she was not aware of her pregnancy, she continued her job and kept lifting heavy loads all day. At two months, the woman miscarried while using the bathroom. When she went to the Thai hospital, the nurses thought she had aborted her pregnancy intentionally and she was heavily scolded. When she attended our workshop, we explained to her the signs of pregnancy so that something like this wouldn’t happen again.”
When we first heard these personal stories, we realized just how significant our health education project was. With the completion of Phase I, there has been noticeable improvement in the amount of knowledge in each community. We hope that with the implementation of Phase II, we can solidify this knowledge with permanent points of contact with the important information community members may need between health care visits from the Mobile Medical Team. Once the GROW team has returned and Phase II is further along, we hope to have more updates to provide on how our project is going.
In closing, we would like to thank you for your continued support in our efforts in Mae Sot. Hearing about, and seeing first-hand through our GROW trips, the impact we have made on the lives of these people by simply providing them what we often times take for granted—education—is both gratifying and humbling. We can only hope that our success continues, and we can keep funding more projects to help these communities thrive and work towards a brighter future.
Yours in health,
Ceejay Boyce and Mahima Venkatesh
Co-presidents, GlobeMed at University of Cincinnati
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