GlobeMed at Middlebury held its second meeting of the semester on Sunday, September 29th. Having solidified our now 40+-person membership, we are thrilled to begin a productive year working towards global health equity on campus and with our partner, Gardens for Health International.
The chapter has introduced a new model for member participation, breaking down into teams focused on campaigns, speakers and grants. Our campaign directors, Cate Stanton and Margaret Reed, are coordinating a promising year for fundraising events. Amongst the many traditional and new campaigns in store include the Ski Race, a 5k, an acapella jamboree, and a Holiday Giving campaign.
To begin the night’s GlobalHealthU, members attempted to define poverty and the elements of what makes somebody poor. Responses touched on the manifold dimensions of poverty, from the economic to the political to the personal. The discussion then opened up to the following questions:
How does GHI approach poverty and development? How would you address poverty?
Where do we want to be in 2030? What do we want accomplished? How will poverty be different?
How do we want to get there? Is GHI’s model the only model we should be following? Are there other models that complement GHI’s mission?
Sustainability was identified as the most critical dimension to contemporary international aid. In supporting the beneficiaries to developing their own solutions, global health initiatives can ensure a long-lasting, targeted and deep impact in the community. Moreover, community empowerment lends itself to partnerships with like-minded organizations, thus creating a network that approaches their respective issues from a multidimensional purview. For GHI, sustainable practice is embedded in their Turi Kumwe, or We Are Together, philosophy. Local leaders, trained as agricultural field agents, are dispatched into communities to sensitize families to GHI’s agricultural training and health-related educational curriculum. In turn, mother mothers are equipped with the self-sufficiency to life their households out of malnourishment. Out of this integrated, rather than parallel, system have emerged many strategic partnerships with the Rwandan government, UNICEF, the European Union and other sectors involved in food security policy.