Organization Spotlight: Tiyatien Health

A worthy organization recently brought to the chapter’s attention is Tiyatien Health, a not-for-profit that works to rebuild the failed health system of Liberia.  Liberia is still struggling to recover from a horrific civil war that ended in 2003. Tiyatien Health, headed by the liberian-born doctor Rajesh Panjabi, strives to provide what it terms “justice in health”, health equity for all Liberians.  It focuses on providing free medicine and health care to those who need it. Rajesh and all involved place great importance on teaching Liberians how to care for themselves and administer to others in order to create a health system that won’t only help those in need, but will sustain itself. Tiyatien also works with the Liberian Government to create a permanent, functioning health system and supports sustainable economic ventures in order to combat poverty. Check out Tiyatien’s website at http://www.tiyatienhealth.org/, or the GlobeMed website for the chapter at University of Michigan, who partners with Tiyatien Health, at http://www.globemed.org/[uofm] .


Short Term Relief Trips: Point and Counterpoint

Students are presented with a wide array of opportunities to engage with global health issues. As exciting as it can be to jump into an experience abroad, it is important for us, as discerning students of global health, to be extremely critical of our own intentions and the intentions of organizations with which we work. Not all programs with abroad opportunities are conducted with the best intentions for local communities. So, as you sort through your options for summer opportunities, consider how best you can use your skills and position as a student, but be cautious of working far beyond your means, particularly when it comes to administering medical care and advice.

To further illustrate this point, check out this article about Global Medical Brigades and GlobeMed Executive Director Jon Shaffer’s response to it.


a quote on discernment

“This is the duty of our generation as we enter the twenty-first century—solidarity with the weak, the persecuted, the lonely, the sick, and those in despair. It is expressed by the desire to give a noble and humanizing meaning to a community in which all members will define themselves not by their own identity but by that of others.”

Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate for Peace
c/o Alex Gunn


Current Events: Polio in India

India is one of the few countries in the world in which polio has not yet been eradicated. A recent campaign in India to vaccinate more people was launched last month, and in just five days, 2 and 1/2 million workers vaccinated over 178 million children. This article describes the struggle to fight polio in India. In addition, polio is still endemic in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria, while other cases appear in other countries periodically. This website describes the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and provides weekly updates on cases of polio and vaccination efforts worldwide. In addition, due to polio’s remaining prevalence in Asia, the United States recently signed a Protocol of Intent on Cooperation for the Global Eradication of Polio, to help fight what remains of this crippling disease. This editorial tells more about this agreement. It will be interesting to follow the efforts to eradicate this disease and see how countries work together to spread the vaccination to areas that still remain without access to proper healthcare.


World Day of Social Justice Balloon Campaign

Check out this great video, created by GlobeMed’s own Tiffany Wong!

It highlights our recent ‘guerrilla marketing’ campaign to promote the World Day of Social Justice (which is happening tomorrow, February 20th) on the Northwestern campus. We gave out over 450 balloons, each with a though-provoking statistic about global inequity on it, to Northwestern students to carry around with them or to tie somewhere on campus. Seeing all of those brightly-colored balloons was a great way to get people talking about social justice and our responsible call to action as undergraduate students. Students even had the opportunity to share what they believe is a universal human right by signing our large banner in Norris as they picked up a balloon. We are looking forward to continuing the dialogue we’ve started at tomorrow’s World Day of Social Justice Unity Conference. Stay tuned for more updates…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHigOGRoNAA]

(Many thanks to Sasha Jones, Emily Bauersfeld, and Joey Gill for their incredible leadership on this balloon campaign!)


Current Events: Updates on Haiti

Here’s a link to the most recent update on the cholera outbreak in Haiti, which details the weakening outbreak but notes the high mortality rates in rural areas. One proposed solution involves the use of oral rehydration packets as suggested in this article. However, cholera is just a part of a larger set of problems that Haiti faces. This editorial, written last month and a year after the devastating earthquake, outlines some of these problems. It will be interesting to see how the recovery and rebuilding process continues.


World Day of Social Justice at NU

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6wTQpgErKs]

A couple weeks ago, GlobeMed at NU started brainstorming creative ways to commemorate the World Day of Social Justice. Tomorrow, Feburary 17, we are putting these ideas into action. From 10am-2pm at the Norris Student Center, we will be handing out floating balloons with interesting, informative facts that put our global distribution of resources into perspective. Please celebrate the WDSJ with us by picking up a balloon, signing a banner and getting your picture taken.

More info at our FB event: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=199360890090156&index=1


Baking up bliss

The chapter recently had our bake sale fundraiser, where we raised over $200 to support outreach programs at the H.O.P.E Center. For an afternoon, customers came to enjoy a variety of delicious treats, as well as to purchase a variety of homemade crafts including coffee sleeves, coasters, and unique jewelry. More craft items can also be found on our Etsy page: GlobeMed Goods

The sale was a great opportunity to educate people about GlobeMed’s mission and purpose. Plus, the time spent with each other is always valued!

Stay tuned for future fundraising events…


NU World Day of Social Justice Conference

In the spirit of humanitarianism worldwide, Northwestern will be holding a university-wide World Day of Social Justice Conference to bring together engagement groups from all over campus to raise awareness and increase collaboration. Conference participates include GlobeMed at NU, the Center for Civic Engagement, LIFT Evanston, SEED, NUCHR, INSPIRE Films and others. Goals for the conference include spreading knowledge about the work different groups do, brainstorming ideas for working together, and decreasing programming conflicts in order to promote better event attendance.

The conference will be held February 20, from 12-3pm in Parkes Hall and is free and open to the public. The conference will be followed by a public speaking skills building workshop by Professor Peter Civetta. The workshop will be aimed at helping students effectively communicate the mission and work of their organizations. The tentative conference schedule is below:

12:00 – 12:10  –  Come in, get food, get seated

12:10 – 12:20  –  Introduction

12:20 – 12:35  –  Icebreakers

12:35 – 01:55  –  Group Presentations

01:55 – 02:30  –  Breakout Discussion Sessions

02:30 -03:00   – Food and networking

03:00 -05:00      – ULRPI Skills Training

This is the first year we are holding a WDSJ Conference at NU, but have high hopes for collaborative outcomes. This conference can be easily replicated on college campuses across the US.

There are 11 days left until the World Day of Social Justice, and still enough time to put this sort of event on at your school! All it takes are a couple student leaders to compile a list of the relevant groups, reach out to the students in charge of these organizations, and ask them:

1) For a description of the group’s work, mission, and ideas for collaboration for the conference packet

2) To prepare a brief 3-4 minute presentation

3) To bring 3-4 members to the conference

We have been planning this conference since the end of winter quarter, and of course the more preparation, the better. Consider planning a collaborative event like this for later on in the year even if it may be too late to put it on for WDSJ on 2/20. If you have any questions about planning such an event, feel free to contact me at tiffany@u.northwestern.edu

-Tiffany