Feb 8, 2017

#GROWCommunity17: Communicating across time and space

In the weeks leading up to GROW Institute 2017, we will publish a series of blogposts that reflect on ‘community’ and how students have enacted this value within their GlobeMed chapters.

Students at GlobeMed at St. Edwards University in Austin, TX had this to share…

The mission of St. Edward’s University includes a great focus on forming a strong community locally and globally to best take on the problems affecting our world. At our chapter, we believe that community means building strong relationships. This requires being open-minded and respectful with one another.

For example, at our ghU meetings we tell members that they are in a ‘brave space’ and able to speak their minds. GROW lines up with our school’s Holy Cross mission of ‘Service-Learning Experiences’ by not only informing ourselves through research and discussion about the needs of our communities but also in actively participating.

As a small chapter at St. Ed’s, it has been easy to become familiar with one another and form strong bonds on our campus. This has particularly been helpful in fulfilling our chapter mission. Abroad, Alejandra Arellano, a past GROW participant and current GROW coordinator, shares that she learned that having a strong sense of our partner’s community is what leads to having successful projects. Therefore, as part of the 2016-2017 GROW Interns cohort, we look forward to learning more about the community in San Juan de La Concepcion, Nicaragua to make sure that we bring this back as inspiration and desire to fulfill our project goals.

With this in mind, communication is crucial in building community. The most important part of a relationship, especially between very different communities such as GlobeMed at St. Ed’s and our partner in Nicaragua, is communication. To communicate means to recognize and accept each other’s differences, strengths, needs, and wants. Without talking to your partner it is impossible to know what their needs are and how to facilitate the fulfillment of those needs.

Without communication, there is no community.

As members of the GROW team our main focus is maintaining this partnership across time and geographical space. By updating our members on the projects of Asociacion Tierra and updating our partner on our chapter’s goals we build community throughout the year.

While on the GROW internship this summer, we hope to bring our communities face-to-face with the skills that being GlobeMed at St. Ed’s members has taught us. Since all of members cannot join us on this trip, we hope to bring back the stories of members of San Juan de La Concepcion and fuel our current member’s passion for social justice.

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