GlobeMed at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor partners with PEOF in Morazán, El Salvador to advance health and community development in the country's post-war communities.
GlobeMed at the University of Michigan + PEOF
GlobeMed at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor | Ann Arbor, Michigan
Perkin Educational Opportunities Foundation (PEOF) | Morazán, El Salvador
During the Salvadoran Civil War from 1980 – 1992, the Morazán region suﬀered untold loss of life, displacement of 100% of the civilian population and complete destruction of social and productive infrastructure. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Salvadorans have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, primarily as a result of war.
“GlobeMed opened my eyes to the health disparities that exist both locally and abroad while our chapter addressed specific contextualized issues of social injustice. By challenging the fundamental understanding of health, GlobeMed transformed my unmolded passion for the health sciences, further shaping a lifelong passion in the field of medicine.“
– Jeremy Kratz, University of Michigan ’11
About the Partnership
GlobeMed at the University of Michigan is fortunate enough to partner with two organizations in their unique effort to reach out to both local and international communities. The chapter’s international partner is Amun Shéa, which is an alternative education grade school in Northern Morazán, El Salvador, run by Perkin Educational Opportunities Foundation (PEOF). Their local partner is Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation which is a community-based organization in Detroit, Michigan.
Perkin Educational Opportunities Foundation (PEOF), is a non-profit organization centered in one of the areas most impacted by the Salvadoran Civil War: Northern Morazán. Suffering complete displacement of the civilian population during the war, social and productive infrastructures were completely destroyed. Today, the area is home to 33,000 people and is still marked with some of the highest poverty levels in the country. PEOF was founded in 2007 with a multi-pronged mission geared towards the development of a brighter future in Morazán. They aim to 1) change attitude, 2) develop capacities, and 3) create opportunity.
Amún Shéa is their main project – it is a school with a dynamic Problem-Based Learning (PBL) style developed to confront the root causes of poverty. Serving more than 100 students from grades kindergarten to eighth grade, the school promotes the development of community leaders by investigating real issues within the community. Students learn from finding solutions and engaging their community in implementing them. They believe that “Those that give, receive” are are committed to community development, health, and investment.
Amun Shéa, in Northern Morazán, El Salvado, is a school (grades, K-7) where children from the surrounding community can come and learn skills especially necessary for the environment in which they live. Together, GlobeMed at the University of Michigan and PEOF have implemented several projects:
1. The Hygiene Campaign actively engages students and staff in personal, family, and community hygiene promotion, while improving the general health status of students. This includes providing supplies such as soap, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, and cleaning materials for the kitchen and bathrooms.
2. The Aquaponics project combines previous greenhouse and tilapia farm projects. It was created to provide a more sustainable method of producing common vegetables and tilapia to supplement school meals and snacks.
3. The Food-Bio Lab allows students to test soil and plant tissue for nutrients and contaminants, as a way to improve knowledge of what is in the food that students are eating and evaluate its quality through a hands–on study of biology.
4. The Healthy Student Initiative provides Amun Shea students with basic health and nutrition knowledge, in order to create a comprehensive school environment that fosters good health.
GlobeMed at the University of Michigan strives to raise $10,000 every year for their partnership with PEOF. Additionally, the chapter aims to promote community health locally and abroad through their two partnerships.
Local Partner – Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation in Detroit, MI
In an effort to reach out to both local and international communities, GlobeMed at the University of Michigan partners with the Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation (JSCDC) in addition to their partnership with PEOF.
JSCDC’s mission is to revitalize neighborhoods through family life-skill support and community economic development. The health and education center has grown to provide free healthcare and prevention resources to the underinsured and the uninsured who live in the Cody-Rouge community of Detroit. The JSCDC believes that the reduction of environmental risk factors to health is essential for community health and that access to health shouldn’t be determined by where one lives. The University of Michigan GlobeMed chapter partnered with JSCDC in 2006 and has helped coordinate and lead health workshops for Detroit families, along with maintaining two community gardens and helping at the Farmer’s Market.
This year, the chapter will continue working with Joy-Southfield’s Health and Education Center to teach healthy cooking classes for elementary school students. Detroit is often called a “food desert” due to the few sources of fresh, healthy food, and the Joy-Southfield community is especially in need of these services. These classes are aimed at providing kids with the knowledge necessary to identify and utilize healthy foods, and in turn how to lead healthy lives.