Through Grassroots On-site Work (GROW) internships, students gain valuable insight into their partner organization and the realities and challenges of the community.
"GROW"ing in Nicaragua: GlobeMed at Rhodes College + AMOS Health and Hope
The GrassRoots Onsite Work (GROW) internship program is crucial to the GlobeMed model. Every year, 3-5 students from each chapter intern on the ground for 3-8 weeks with their partner organization. View the photo story below from one of our 50 partnerships.
Since 2008, A Ministry of Sharing Health and Hope (AMOS) and GlobeMed at Rhodes College have focused on bringing sustainable, clean drinking water and health education to the most remote regions of Nicaragua.
Only 60% of people have access to clean drinking water in Nicaragua, and in rural areas the percentage drops significantly lower. Over three years of partnership, GlobeMed at Rhodes College has raised more than $18,000 to tackle this problem.
In the summer of 2011, two students from Rhodes College began a month-long Grassroots On-Site Work internship at AMOS headquarters in Managua, Nicaragua to build, implement, and evaluate an innovative type of home water filter system.
Follow their story →
GlobeMed at Rhodes students document their month-long Grassroots On-Site Work internship in Nicaragua with their partner organization, AMOS.
Day 1: Trekking to El Roblar
Day 4: Water filter training for community members
AMOS works to bring sustainable clean drinking water and health education to the most remote regions of Nicaragua. Community members must attend water filter training sessions before receiving a filter.
Day 5: Constructing and installing new BioSand filters
The filters are made of affordable local materials and are built with the help of the community.
AMOS operates within the “see one, do one, teach one” model, so that community members learn the ins and outs of the filters and are able to maintain them.
Day 13: Testing and evaluating filter performance
To evaluate the success of the filters, the GROW interns took samples from the source water, the water straight from the filter, and the filtered water in a storage container. They tested the water to determine how well the filters were functioning and if the owner was properly cleaning the storage container.
Day 17: Follow-up visit after filter installation
GROW interns and AMOS staff evaluated filters that had been installed. AMOS believes that follow-up is important to achieving improved health. The follow-up project is largely funded through GlobeMed at Rhodes since it has been difficult to find funding for follow-up visits.
Day 23: Communicating evaluation results to community members
The AMOS-trained Health Promoter holds an assembly to communicate the results of the water testing to the community, which provides an opportunity for sanitation and hygiene education.
Community members in El Obraje, Nicaragua sign off on a list of self-identified commitments to improve the health of the community.
Day 24: Developing protocols and materials for future use
The Rhodes students developed protocols, equipment checklists, and educational materials for AMOS to standardize their data collection.
Day 29: Celebrating a successful internship and saying goodbye
New water filter recipients from Malacatoya.
“Working with the students is always a blessing as they are enthusiastic to learn and motivated to serve. As part of an ongoing partnership, AMOS and GlobeMed continue to develop a program that empowers community members themselves to provide local health education, home visitation, and water quality monitoring for the BioSand filters so that one day there may be clean drinking water for all!”
– Laura Chanchein Parajón, MD, Medical Director, AMOS
“The opportunity to actively participate in projects I’ve heard about for so long, like the water filters, was surreal; the fact that I get to bring my experience back home to energize my chapter is exhilarating.”
– Carolyn Lamere, Rhodes College ’12
During the 2011 GROW internship, GlobeMed at Rhodes interns and AMOS staff members built and installed 40 water filters, evaluated 98 existing filters, and tested water samples from 23 filters.
Since 2008, GlobeMed at Rhodes and AMOS have installed water filters for more than 600 families with a use rate of 97%. According to studies, this is far above the average use rate of about 77%. AMOS believes their success is due to their emphasis on training, education prior to the installation of the filter, and regular follow-up visits. This is why GlobeMed at Rhodes is so deeply honored to support this crucial project for AMOS’ communities.