#GROWCommunity17: A collection of unique voices and talents
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.
Chris Lin, a senior in biochemistry major, GROW intern in 2015, and External Co-President in 2015 from GlobeMed at Northeastern University in Boston, MA writes…
At GlobeMed at Northeastern University, our sense of community has developed as a core component of our chapter. During each semester, we place an emphasis on bringing together individuals from a variety of backgrounds to focus on promoting global health equity.
While this common interest has attracted us to GlobeMed and its mission, the skill-sets and abilities of each of our members have allowed us to transform our chapter into a collection of unique voices and talents. By building upon these strengths, we grow as an organization and become able to accomplish far more than we would as individuals. From fundraising to advocacy events, each member can contribute and leave their mark on our chapter while being supported by their peers.
This understanding of community is strong within our chapter, and one of our major goals has been to expand it internationally, particularly with our partner organization – Kitovu Mobile LTD. One of the key aspects of our relationship is the collaboration that we share over our water sanitation and hygiene project. Rather than solely providing resources to Kitovu, the project we share relies heavily on a constant exchange of ideas and feedback. In this sense, we approach our goals directly alongside Kitovu, learning how to approach challenges to water sanitation with a combined perspective. Over the past six years, we have collaborated together to provide numerous shallow wells, pit latrines, and educational resources for villagers in Masaka, Uganda.
With our upcoming GROW trip, we hope to further strengthen the bonds that we have been developing with Kitovu. Each team of interns plays a vital role in bringing us closer to our partner, providing us with the opportunity to further our understanding of the circumstances underlying limited access to water sanitation in Uganda, and how best to expand upon our existing partnership. This direct communication is a vital aspect of our partnership and provides us with the means to bridge cultural and geographic barriers, while developing a sense of community at a global level.
Community is the way in which we build relationships with one another, giving us the ability to combine our efforts in a synergistic fashion. As a GlobeMed chapter, we hope to embody this sentiment in our efforts both at Northeastern and abroad. By recognizing that our community’s strength lies within our members and our partner, we have grown increasingly capable of pursuing our mission to promote global health equity.
Photo caption: 2016 GROW team – Emily, Kelly, Eddy, and Shawn – received a fruit basket after visiting the Kyambazi village and surveying them on their access to water hygiene and giving their children shoes!