Madeline O'Grady is a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she is the the Publicity Director of GlobeMed at MIT. Read below to find out more about Madeline, why she's joining MCC2014, and how you can join the movement.
GlobeMed at MIT is partnered with Hope Through Health, a New York-based NGO that works with 5 HIV health clinics in northern Togo, the larges which is AED Lidaw in central Kara. An important part of their partnership is fundraising, and all of the money that is raised throughout the school year is donated directly to the clinics. Each year, the group has increased their fundraising goal; last year alone they raised $10,000 through campaigns and individual donations to donate to AED and its satellite clinics in order to help them stock their pharmacies and improve their facilities. This year, they hosted our first annual Grassroots Initiatives for Global Health Conference in which over 300 students from surrounding universities and members of the community attended to learn about methods and goals of global health advocacy from representatives from HTH, Article 25. In the past year they have grown their presence on MIT's campus and in surrounding neighborhoods. By expanding, they have formed valuable connectiosn with other collegiate global health advocacy groups.
Every summer and January term, studetns from MIT travel to AED to implement projects to solve problems that the clinic staff identify. This summer, Madeline traveled to Togo with a group of 6 other students to work on three separate projects. They are working on the rollout of a mobile health platform called CommCare in order to facilitate data collection and analysis at the clinic.
On why Madeline wants to attend MCC2014: "I would like to attend MCC2014 because it will be an opportunity to meet and network with other like-minded students and brainstorm and share ideas for actions and advocacy. I also think that it will be an interesting chance to think outside the realm of global health and talk about development as a whole. Holding a leadership position in GlobeMed at MIT, I spend much of the year thinking about healthcare and specifically improving healthcare for individuals living with HIV/AIDS in northern Togo. Although I find this mission hugely important and am dedicated to assisting AED Lidaw in its capacity building, I also understand that it is important to think about other development tactics, and I am very interested in learning about how other groups are approaching development. Last semester, I took an introductory class in international development, and I learned about economic perspectives on development and did case studies on development projects with varying levels of success. This class made me think critically about the ways that we approach development and about the varying lenses through which we measure success. Not only did it lead me to consider a concentration in international development, discussion of monitoring and evaluation of development projects got my project team thinking about what baseline measures we ought to collect before and after the rollout of CommCare to help us measure the success of the program a few years down the line. The combination of participating in this class on development and experiencing it firsthand in Togo this summer has changed my thought process when it comes to development. I am passionate about global health and improving the lives on individuals around the world, and I want development projects, when implemented, to be as effective as possible. Therefore, I have become a very active participant in development discussions, and I have become particularly geared to discuss methods of effective monitoring and evaluation of development projects. For this reason, I think that I will bring an analytical eye to the Millennium Conference, with the goal of learning more about the limitations and capabilities of development projects, and working together to come up with concrete and well thought out ideas to bring back with me to Cambridge."
Madeline, as well as many other student leaders from across the globe, will be joining us this October 10-12th, 2014 at the 6th Annual Millennium Campus Conference. There, they and other students will be exchanging ideas and talking about how to achieve the UN Millennium Goals. in addition, everyone will be able to attend keynote speeches by influential global leaders such as Nicholas Kristof, Dr. Paul Farmer, among others. Apply now!