By Alyssa Smaldino - Co-President, GlobeMed at GWU
GlobeMed at GWU first started partnering with the Rwanda Village Concept Project in 2006. Through our combined efforts, we have been able to transform a health clinic that was nearly dysfunctional after the genocide. In just over three years we have implemented clean running water and electricity in the clinic. We have purchased supplies such as a refrigerator and other basic equipment that has enabled the clinic to offer vaccines, perform various lab tests, and help women receive prenatal care. Our current projects focus on empowering fifty mothers of the Huye community. Each of the women have received a goat, which they are currently using to cultivate land. With the land, they will grow vegetables for their family, as well as some that they can sell for a profit. They are also able to drink the milk of the goats for nourishment. When the goats have babies (they are all female), the offspring will be given back to the Huye Health Clinic so that they can then be sold to other women for a smaller price than they would be elsewhere. Thus, both the women participating in the program and the health clinic can begin to take in a sustainable income. Furthermore, women have the incentive to attend the health clinic more frequently, particularly for our Maternal Health Education Program.
In the coming years we will be constructing a waiting room that will provide the women with a private room for consultations and will also act as an educational arena for the entire community. This is something that everybody in the community feels is essential, and we have strong reason to believe that it will increase overall attendance and also attract more local doctors. Simultaneously, we will be expanding upon the Income Generation program and purchasing as much land and as many goats as well can in order to enroll more and more women.
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