Dearest friends and family,
We hope that you all had relaxing family time over your Thanksgiving breaks! I know the members of GlobeMed at Columbia were glad to have a break from the hustle and bustle of Columbia.
While we were all celebrating our American holiday, GWED-G staff was busy in Uganda laying the groundwork for the additions to our project in the coming year. Our project's foundation still lies in HIV/AIDS prevention and maternal health, but now has additions that will make it more comprehensive and effective. Through the GROW team's conversations with beneficiaries, they determined that transportation, nutrition, and economic opportunity are severely lacking in the rural communities of Northern Uganda. This year, we are aiming to provide voluntary community health workers with bicycles and incentives, provide women and youth groups with livelihood activities, and provide HIV positive women and children with nutrition education and access to nutrition supplements. We also want to incorporate gender based violence (GBV) prevention education into rural community sensitizations.
Since May, we have been collaborating with GWED-G to create a project work plan, a memorandum of understanding (MoU), and a comprehensive budget for our 2013 project. Also since May, GWED-G has been gearing up for these additions, as well as trying to implement some of them before the official start of our project. Most recently, they have identified 46 children in need of food supplements. GWED-G will distribute ColoPlus, a nutritional supplement provided to GWED-G by a Swedish donor, in the coming weeks to these children. While this will technically be part of our former project, it lays the foundation for continuing the nutrition portion of our project.
GWED-G has also been scheduling meetings with different groups of beneficiaries to find out what they want specifically out of the project. They will meet with women and youth groups to determine what kind of livelihood they want to pursue, whether it’s in the form of vegetable seeds, groundnut seeds, or livestock raising. At the meetings with women’s groups, GWED-G will ask the beneficiaries to nominate 40 more HIV positive, pregnant women that will benefit from prevention of mother to child transmission education and livelihood. A GWED-G staff member who works on GBV prevention will also attend these meetings in order to assess the need for community dialogues on GBV education within rural sensitization campaigns. GWED-G will meet with community health workers to determine what types of incentives, besides bicycles, will motivate them to conduct more outreach. These might include soap, sugar, or salt.
We cannot wait to hear the results of these meetings and how our beneficiaries receive the additions to our project. Their input was the basis for designing our new project, so we hope that they are energized about the new steps that we as GlobeMed at Columbia and GWED-G are taking to improve their lives.
No matter what the incentives for community health workers or the livelihood activities for our women and youth end up being, our budget for this year is higher than ever. We need to raise $21,522 to accomplish our goals. Attached to this project update is our budget breakdown, memorandum of understanding, and project work plan that will enable you to understand how each objective is executed and how much money goes towards each. You can also check this Project Cheat Sheet, a summarized version of the how, why, and what of our project.
GlobeMed at Columbia has also launched a new website to support our 2012 Individual Giving campaign. It has photos of Gulu, GWED-G, beneficiaries, and our members, as well as descriptions of our project objectives, our chapter, and our partner. We hope that it is informative and aesthetically pleasing!
Happy Holidays!GlobeMed at Columbia
Hello again friends & family!
GlobeMed at Columbia has some very exciting news! We have entered into the Johnson & Johnson Be Vital Challenge. Our video entry features chapter members from GlobeMed at Columbia and footage from our 2012 GROW trip.
Watching and voting for our video will put us in the running to win $10,000. This entire amount will go towards our HIV prevention and maternal health project in northern Uganda, helping us achieve almost half of our fundraising goal for the entire year!
Voting is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
1) Watch, rate, and vote for our video submission here: http://bit.ly/bevitalcu2) Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter3) Share our posts and invite all your friends to join the page! There will be new infographics posted throughout the week through our social media outlets. Some are included in this email!You can vote everyday until Monday, October 29th at 11:59 pm. Please post a comment on the page as well, so we can get more visibility on the website! We are up against student groups from universities that are much bigger than Columbia, so we need all the help we can get. Spread the word today and help us make a sustaianble difference in the live of others!
In solidarity,GlobeMed at Columbia
It has been a while since we have updated you all with our project's progress and happenings within our chapter. We have gotten off to the year on a great foot. We have a chapter of 41 students this semester, all dedicated to supporting our project and our partner.
The most exciting part about this year happened just a few weeks ago when Pamela Angwech, the Executive Director GWED-G, and Franny Achoko, the Project Officer for GlobeMed projects, came to visit New York for the second time this year! After their visit in April, we never thought that they would be back just five months later. It was so exciting to have them at one of our first meetings of the year. During our discussion about health as a human right, Pamela chimed in. She urged chapter members to view development through a human rights lens, and keep the human rights perspective at the back of their minds when providing people with basic needs.
Throughout the week, Pamela and Franny were very busy. They were in New York for the Performing the World Conference which is sponsored by the All Stars Project. Pamela presented about GWED-G's work rehabilitating war victims in northern Uganda through music, drama, and dance, something that the All Stars Project does with underprivileged American children.
Despite their busy schedules, we were able to hang out with them a few times. It is so rare that one of GlobeMed's partner organizations can visit the chapter in the United States, and we are incredibly lucky that they have visited us twice. Even though all our chapter members cannot participate in the GROW trip, they have had the chance to meet GWED-G staff, helping strengthen their connection with our partner.
Keep posted for another update about our the project for the coming year and our individual giving campaign! We have a of exciting improvements to our project, including livelihood and nutrition components and a huge fundraising goal. In the meantime, check our blog for updates about our chapter and our events.
To our dear friends, family, and donors,
GlobeMed at Columbia received exciting news the other day that one of our photos from our GROW trip will be a finalist in the annual GlobalGiving photo contest. We are immensely excited that the subject of our finalist photograph is Zainabu, an HIV postive mother and beneficiary of our project.
Zainabu is the treasurer of her Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA). VSLA is a banking method instituted by CARE International that is meant as a way for groups of people to collectively save their money to use for community development or welfare. As the treasurer, Zainabu records weekly contributions of all VSLA members. A few years ago, Zainabu would never have been able to be the treasurer. She was deathly skinny and hid in her house for fear of stigmatization by her peers. After attending GWED-G sensitization campaigns and prevention of mother to child transmission counseling, Zainabu has developed a strong leadership role in her community and is proud that her next baby will be born HIV free.
Voting for the photo of Zainabu in the GlobalGiving photo contest will win GlobeMed at Columbia $1,000 towards our HIV prevention and maternal health project with Gulu Women's Economic Development and Globalization (GWED-G) in northern Uganda. $1,000 will allow many more HIV positive mothers like Zainabu to have healthy babies and rise as leaders in their communities. Tell your family, friends, co-workers, and whoever else you may cross paths with to vote for our photo so we can help more healthy babies into this world.
You can vote for the photo of Zainabu at this link through the GlobalGiving site using your email address. Voting takes place between August 1st and August 15th. So please make sure you get your vote in before the contest ends!
Kop ango? or "How are you" in Luo, the local language of Northern Uganda!
GlobeMed at Columbia's Grassroots On-site Work (GROW) team returned last week from their internship in Gulu. Our team was working with Gulu Women's Economic Development and Globalization (GWED-G) to evaluate our current project and develop our project for next year. However, our experience transcended that of just working there. We were able to form deep friendships with the GWED-G staff and really connect with the beneficiaries of our HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention project.
While in Gulu, we went out to rural villages almost every day to meet beneficiaries and engage with them about their lives. Meeting the HIV positive mothers and their healthy children was extremely moving. We were especially touched by the story of Beatrice, an HIV positive woman who has been working with GWED-G since 2007. When GWED-G staff first met Beatrice, she was in the throes of HIV. She was hiding in her house, not able to get up and reach a hospital because she was too weak to walk to the nearest health center, which was some kilometers away. GWED-G staff took her blood and realized that her CD4 count was seven. A CD4 cell is a type of white blood cell that fights infection and is targeted by the HIV virus. Beatrice's CD4 count meant that she only had seven of this type of white blood cell in each cubic milliliter of her blood. A normal number of CD4 cells is 500 to 1,500. Having only seven would yield your body with no weapons to fight infection. Thankfully for Beatrice, she had met the right people because she was able to start antiretrovirals soon afterwards. After getting treatment, Beatrice approached her local health center, wanting to do something to help others who were suffering like she had. She took on the voluntary job of community health worker, spreading awareness and counseling HIV positive patients. She is now the chairman of her Village Health Team, a group of 20 community health workers, and often travels with GWED-G campaigns to impart her knowledge on others.
Beatrice is only one of the women, men, and youth who are beneficiaries of our project. There are many like Beatrice who learn from GWED-G and then spread this education to others. Men from youth groups spread their knowledge by playing cards with their peers, or traveling household to household. HIV positive mothers educate fellow mothers about preventing transmission of the virus to their babies. This is not because they have to, but because they feel that everyone in their community should have the same knowledge they have.
GlobeMed at Columbia's project is truly making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable people in Northern Uganda. Your contributions to our project made this happen, and we hope you continue to support ours and GWED-G's work, whether it is through donations or in thought. And check out our GROW team's blog below to learn more about what they did on the ground in Gulu and how their experiences affected them today.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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