We believe that change happens through the power of human relationships. Because of this belief, we build long-term partnerships between students and grassroots organizations.
Long-term Partnership: GlobeMed at GWU + Rwanda Village Concept Project
Each of GlobeMed’s 50 chapters is partnered with a unique grassroots organization. Year after year, chapters and their partner organizations design projects to improve the partner community’s health. Through on-going communication and mutual learning, they develop a relationship that serves as the foundation for successful collaboration and health impact. Here’s the story of one of the oldest partnerships in our network.
In 2006 in the hills of Southern Rwanda, a young medical student was walking down a dirt road near a dilapidated clinic. As he neared the clinic, he noticed a woman lying outside giving birth.
The clinic had been destroyed 12 years earlier during a genocide that left nearly 1,000,000 Rwandans dead. Determined to help rebuild his country, Edmond Baganizi, who was studying medicine at the National University of Rwanda, was called to action. He believed that every woman deserved to give birth in safety and dignity.
In December of 2007, the student organization to which Edmond belonged, Rwanda Village Concept Project (RVCP), partnered with a newly formed chapter, GlobeMed at The George Washington University (GWU).
A look at 5 years of partnership →
Since 2007, the partnership between GlobeMed at GWU and RVCP has led to a refurbished health clinic with running water and electricity; a brand new waiting room; maternal health education, sustainable income and nutrition for two cooperatives of over 100 women and their children; and a plan for the future that redefines the way students across borders can effectively work together.
2006: At the beginning
GlobeMed co-founders Peter Luckow and Victor Roy visited Edmond Baganizi and Hovaire Nsabimana of RVCP to discuss their vision for transforming the Huye Health Clinic.
The Huye Health Clinic before the partnership between GlobeMed at GWU and RVCP began.
2007 – 2008: The Huye Health Clinic comes to life
In the first year of their partnership, GlobeMed at GWU raised $1,500 to fund the installation of electricity at the Huye Health Clinic and built a strong relationship with students from the Rwanda Village Concept Project.
2008 – 2009: Installing running water and identifying public health priorities in the community
Raising more than $4,500 in its second year, GlobeMed at GWU funded running water for the Huye Health Clinic. Once the clinic was equipped with basic utilities, RVCP and GlobeMed at GWU students carried out a Needs Assessment to identify the district’s key public health needs.
2009 – 2010: Launching a pilot program to improve maternal health
Poor maternal health and child malnutrition were consistently presented as top concerns during the 2009 Needs Assessment. With $11,000 in support from GlobeMed at GWU, RVCP launched a pilot Maternal Health Education and Income Generation program. The program targeted the 50 mothers with the most severely malnourished children in the Huye District. After completing 10 health education sessions, the women were each given a plot of land to farm and a goat.
2010 – 2011: Scaling impact and strengthening capacity
The Huye Health Clinic has brought dignity and quality healthcare to 14,000 individuals who now seek services in Butare, Rwanda.
Goats breed more goats. In the following year, another 50 women were selected to receive the goat offspring and additional plots of land. Inspired by the success of the program, GlobeMed at GWU nearly doubled their fundraising efforts, raising more than $18,000. This money not only supported the second round of the Maternal Health Education and Income Generation program for another 50 women, but also funded the construction of a waiting room.
“Working with this chapter has helped me to know how much it is really valuable to have time to communicate with partners to share updates and plan together what you want to do. We will continue to use knowledge and experience shared during this work to shape our personality for a better society.”
– Vincent Ndebwanimana, former RVCP Coordinator
Since 2007, GlobeMed at GWU has raised over $35,000 to rebuild the Huye Health Clinic and support its programs. The clinic now brings quality health care to over 14,000 people in the surrounding communities.
The clinic’s programs continue to be strengthened by the academic expertise of The George Washington University and The National University of Rwanda. Students rely on guidance from professors across disciplines to develop maternal health education sessions, as well as high quality monitoring and evaluation processes for the program. To ensure longterm sustainability and expand support for the clinic, GlobeMed and RVCP students have established a partnership between the Huye Health Clinic and the Huye District Health Office.
In 2012, GlobeMed at GWU and RVCP will expand the Maternal Health Education and Income Generation Program by providing 50 more women with maternal health education, goats, and land.
Additionally, the former waiting room at the Huye Health Clinic will be transformed into three more exam rooms, allowing for more space to meet the community’s need. In the years to come they will continue to expand their programs, enabling hundreds of families in the Huye District to receive goats, land, and improved health for the most malnourished children in the community. Their impact is a testament to the power of a partnership that values commitment, excellence, and human connection.