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. W...
Oct 31, 2016

GlobeMed GWED-G Report

Beneficiary and her grandson on their peanut farm.
Beneficiary and her grandson on their peanut farm.

Dear donors, friends, and supporters,

We hope the beggining of Fall has been going well! We would like to take this time to thank you so much for your ongoing support and donations, and update you on the status of our project.

This summer the rainy season came late in North-Eastern Uganda, causing many women in and around Gulu to loose some of their crops, creating serious challenges for their income and food availability for the rest of the year. As you know, income generation is a great source of empowerement since it allows women to rebuild their self-esteem and aquire the means to take charge of their own lives, as well as improving their life quality with the added resources farming yields. GWED-G continues to dedicate itself to supporting rural women through income generating activites such as seed donations, trainings for more effective and sustainable farming techniques, as well as creating collectives of women that run micro-credit unions for their communities' benefit. This year, we also identified a potential new focus for income generation from previous research and feedback from the local community: buying goats, which not only porduce milk and meat, but also reproduce very rapdily.

Other programs GWED-G has delivered to the community include helping Village Health teams deliver grassroots healthcare and family planning servies to isolated rural communities by funding much needed bicycles, as well as bicycle repairs. Trainings were conducted to refresh and train new Role Model Men, who work with conlfict mediation and avocacy in the local community. The Role Model Men show that women's rights are human rights, and help other husbands and fathers understand the negative consequences of alcoholism, gender-based violence, and the importance of family planning.

Thanks to the support of people like you we were able to help our beneficiaries as much as possible during this hard season, and hopefully will continue to do so better and better every year! As usual, please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments, and continue to follow our activites on our websites and social media paltforms!

Best,

 

GlobeMed at Columbia Univeristy

Ricardo Tuma
Director of Partnerships

Aug 3, 2016

GlobeMed at Columbia Updates Summer 2016

Lillian with her family
Lillian with her family

Hello family, friends, and supporters!

We hope this message finds you enjoying the warm days of summer. We want to thank you all for your support so far this year. GlobeMed at Columbia University has finished the Spring semester strong with several successful fundraisers, raising funds for our project in maternal and newborn health.

We are currently waiting for updates from our this year`s GROW team. They have just returned after spending almost a month in Gulu, Uganda, where they have been tirelessly working to improve our project alongside GWED-G. They have interacted directly with our beneficiaries and have the most up to date idea about what their needs. As a result we can adjust our project`s goals and next year`s budget in order to fit the need of our beneficiaries.

In the meantime, we would like to share with you one of the Stories of Change of one of our beneficiaries, Lillian:

Lillian is a 36-year-old HIV+ mother from Abyer village, in Agwayugi parish, Amuru district. She has 4 children and is currently pregnant with her fifth child. Three of her children are negative, but her youngest daughter, five-year-old Fiona, was born HIV+. Lillian believes she has contracted the virus in 2000, but she was not tested until 2005, when she experienced severe weakness, diarrhea and became dramatically emaciated. Lillian had difficulty accepting the news of her HIV+ status. Due to the stress from her diagnosis and the stigma and discrimination she had to contend with, Lillian became very bitter and violent towards others, including her own children. Feeling isolated and ostracized, Lillian attempted suicide three times. Eventually, she was admitted to Lacor Hospital, a major referral hospital in the region, with an extremely low CD4 count of 40-50. She has suffered seriously due to HIV both psychologically and physically, as the weakness took a toll on her ability to provide for her family.

5 years ago she joined the HIV+ mothers` group. With the help and visits from group leaders and caregivers Betty and Alanyo and her involvement within the group, Lillian has been able to regain her confidence and better confront the realities of living positive. She has learned to largely ignore the stigma and discrimination from the community. She now lives openly with HIV. As a member of the HIV+ mothers` group she has access to GWED-G`s psychological and livelihood support. She received seed donations through GWED-G but, unfortunately, at the time she was too ill to maintain her garden and, therefore, unable to reap the benefits from the harvest. She has, however, been able to benefit from mama kits, which facilitate safer conditions for childbirth. The razor, soap, basin and sheet included in the kit led to Lillian being admitted into a health center for delivery. Lillian has recently received from GWED-G the supplies to help with her upcoming delivery. As a member of the group she has built up the confidence to talk freely about HIV within the community; she has reached out to and counseled 4 HIV+ mothers and helped them to deal with their diagnosis. Lillian has come a long way in terms of accepting her own diagnosis and is now using her own experience with living positive as an opportunity to improve the lives of other women living with HIV in her community.

Even though Lillian still faces many challenges, she has the support of her husband, the HIV+ mothers` group, and her family. Lillian, together with her husband Justin, grow maize, millet, rice and sweet potato on their farm, but even with the generated income they are unable to pay school fees to send their children to school. In the future she believes that additional seed donations or donations of gardening tools would help them significantly to overcome many of these obstacles.

GWED-G has been working extremely hard to improve the healthcare standards and delivery in communities in Northern Uganda and our partnership remains strong. GlobeMed at Columbia is very grateful for your support and we would like to celebrate the successes we have achieved together. However, we still have a long way to go until the people of Northern Uganda can fully exercise their right to health. We ask for your contribution to and continued support for GlobeMed at Columbia’s project. Feel free to visit our GlobalGiving pageWordpress, and Facebook pages or follow us on Twitter.

In solidarity, 

GlobeMed at Columbia

Apr 18, 2016

Exciting Updates from GWED-G

Our Beneficiary with her Son
Our Beneficiary with her Son

Dear friends, benefactors and supporters,

We hope this message finds you enjoying the first few days of spring. We want to thank you all for your support so far this year. So far, 2016 has been great for GlobeMed at Columbia as we have added many new members to our chapter this semester, and strengthened ties between members who have already been with us. As a chapter, we have sent members to our national global health conference in Evanston, Illinois, successfully hosted our bi-annual Gala, organized a very successful Krispy Kreme fundraiser and worked on many other events that both raise awareness about our project and help fundraise for our project goal. We are excited to share some recent updates from GWED-G below.

As the region of Northern Uganda is moving towards post-conflict recovery, the region is faced with several factors leading to new HIV infection such as general complacency of attitudes and convictions. This has reduced the fear surrounding HIV, and in turn has led to an increase in risky sexual behavior. GWED-G in partnership with GlobeMed at Columbia is emphasizing scaling up HIV preventions integrated with maternal and newborn health to prevent HIV infection numbers from rising. In order to achieve this the GlobeMed-GWED-G partnership focuses on three objectives: 1. Strengthening Awareness on HIV Prevention Strategies; 2. Promoting Maternal and Newborn Health; 3. Conducting Training and Capacity Building for HIV/AIDS Health Workers.

GWED-G has been working very hard to achieve these objectives in the past year. In 2015, the project conducted 22 awareness and sensitization sessions reaching out to an estimate of 9,162 men and women. 582 mothers benefitted from Mama Kits, which include basic supplies the mothers need for a safe delivery. Women who receive mama kits are also better equipped to be treated at health centers, where medical supplies are often in short supply. Thanks to our partnership with health center staff, expectant mothers in the Mama Clubs receive antenatal care and support with living with HIV. Importantly, for those enrolled in the program, the rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission is significantly reduced. In the past two years 422 babies born to HIV-positive mothers in GWED-G`s Mama groups were born HIV-negative!

GWED-G also conducted 4 community dialogues, where mothers were taught about the nutritional needs of their children. These sessions provide the mothers with an explanation of the nutritional patterns their children require and also show them how they can fulfill these nutritional requirements from local resources. In addition to our maternal and newborn health project GWED-G has newly incorporated cervical cancer screenings into its initiative. So far 207 women have been screened for cervical cancer, potentially resulting in early diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

In the past year through GWED-G`s efforts through initiatives such as the Role Model Men groups there was a significant increase in husbands taking their wives to antenatal care services by 35%, as well as an increase in women seeking family planning methods, from 47 to 106 women seeking contraception at health centers every month. There has also been an increase of 46% in the use of condoms by youth in the community. The number of deliveries done in the health facilities around the project area have increased from 20 to 50 deliveries per month, which is likely the result of many sensitizations dialogues encouraging mothers to seek professional medical services as well as donations of delivery kits to pregnant mothers.

As you can see, GWED-G has been working extremely hard to improve the healthcare standards and delivery in communities in Northern Uganda and our partnership remains strong. GlobeMed at Columbia is very grateful for your support and we would like to celebrate the successes we have achieved together. However, we still have a long way to go until the people of Northern Uganda can fully exercise their right to health. We ask for your contribution to and continued support for GlobeMed at Columbia’s project. Feel free to visit our GlobalGiving pageWordpress, and Facebook pages or follow us on Twitter.

In solidarity,

GlobeMed at Columbia

 
   

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