GlobeMed at UPenn partners with Lwala Community Alliance in Lwala, Kenya to support clinical capacity-building and education.
GlobeMed at University of Pennsylvania + Lwala Community Alliance
GlobeMed at University of Pennsylvania | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Lwala Community Alliance | Lwala, Kenya
97% of Lwala Community Alliance staff are Kenyan.
About the Partnership
After losing their parents to AIDS, Kenyan brothers Milton and Fred Ochieng’ felt a strong call to action to provide access to primary care in their home village. They opened the Lwala Community Hospital, where more than 80,000 patient encounters have been provided in the last 5 years. This has since grown into the Lwala Community Alliance – an organization based in Lwala, Kenya that focuses on building the capacity of the people of Lwala to advance their own comprehensive well-being. In April 2007, after 3 years of fundraising, the Lwala Community Health Center finally opened. Over time the program has become more multi-dimensional to include small scale micro-enterprise, public health outreach, water and sanitation, and education programming. The GlobeMed chapter at University of Pennsylvania was drawn to Lwala’s focus on bringing high-quality care to disadvantaged populations with unwavering emphasis on sustainability.
Lwala Community Alliance (LCA) has been in partnership with GlobeMed at UPenn since late 2012. In the first 3 years of the partnership, the GlobeMed chapter raised awareness and funds to support the maternal and child health outreach program and provide secondary school scholarships. In addition, a total of 6 GROW interns completed internships in Lwala, Kenya during that time, helping to improve monitoring and evaluation systems, facilitate youth outreach, assist with GIS mapping projects, tutor secondary school students, and conduct a comprehensive community-wide survey.
The Lwala Community Alliance aims to build a youth center where young adults, both those out of school and those in-school, can go as a healthy and safe space in the community. The space is currently constructed, but not filled. GlobeMed at UPenn will have the opportunity to discuss and contribute ideas for the space, taking into consideration the needs of the local community. This year, the chapter aims to raise the funds to provide the youth center with e-readers in partnership with World Reader. These readers will be stocked with locally-sourced reading materials and health information. This year’s project will allow GlobeMed at UPenn to contribute towards the LCA’s education, public health, and economic development initiatives.
GlobeMed at UPenn aims to raise $10,000 this year to help build the youth center and acquire e-readers through the World Reader organization. The purpose of the youth center is to provide activities and a safe space for youth so that they are not engaging in at-risk behavior. Additionally, the e-readers will provide literary and educational materials for youth, with a emphasis on materials written by local Kenyans.