In the 2013-2014 academic year, GlobeMed at Brown surpassed their fundraising goal of $10,000 and raised over $14,000 for their partner organization, Ungano Tena (U-Tena), who uses theater and arts to promote the sexual and reproductive health of female teems in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. With the fudns, U-Tena has been able to build a second youth center/safe place for teens, and bolster the Kuza Project, a mentorship-education program for girls to learn skills such as financial literacy. This was the first year the chapter has met their fundraising goal, let alone exceed it; they were lucky enough to have pushed and pushed the branches of their connections to be able to garner enough support for our wonderful partner. Seeing as this was their third year running, Elaine things that both their successful and not-quite-successful endeaveors would make for useful, informative experiences to share with other student organizations. She has found brainstorming with other motivated student leaders to be one of the most inspiring and fruitful ways of achieving their goals.
In addition, last year, their GlobeMed chapter successfully completed two critical GrassRoots On-site Work internships to their partner organizations in Nairobi. In the summer of 2013, their five GROW interns along with U-Tena staff attended, performed, and presented at the first GlobeMed East Africa Forum in Uganda, a conference for over twelve partner organizations and respective student chapters. GlobeMed at Brown was also a speaker at the first ever Community Conference in a Slum Setting that took place in June last year in the Lunga Lunga neighborhood where they learned about the importance of communication.
At the 2013 GlobeMed Global Health Summit, her chapter was one of the presentees. Elaine presented the findings of a brief student-led comparative study on perceptions, prevalence, and prevention of HIV/AIDS between Providence, RI and Nairobi, Kenya.
Elaine claims that the successful year of GlobeMed is in large part because of the strengthening the sense of community amongst their members.
On why she wants to join MCC2014: "I firmly believe that students can be agents of change. However, throughout my college career, I have picked up a number of "hard questions": we can change the world, but how do we do it? When is it appropriate? I came to Brown knowing next to nothing about global health. Yet, when I attended GlobeMed's inaugural info session as a freshman, I fell in love. Words like "sustainability" and "partnership" were enticing, but alluded me for some time. They tend to be words we use without truly assessing their weight, and I am guilty of that. But my time with GlobeMed has taught me to take good care of how I speak of things, because we are working for people's livelihoods, and people's lives matter. Because I have the privilege of being an undergraduate student in the US. Because my basic needs are met, and for most of my life I never gave it a second thought.
I would like to attend MCC2014 because three years ago, I decided to dedicate my life to working in global health. I have committed myself to the path to becoming a physician serving the grossly underserved LGBTQ communities, but there is so much time between now and then, and so much time still for me to do meaningful work as a student. Student conferences have been some of the highlights of my college career, and MCC2014's theme and mission are a chance for me to deepen my understanding of the Millenium Development Goals as well as Post-2015 plans. Most importantly, MCC2014 will allow me to take away valuable lessons and key knowledge that I can then share with my peers and colleagues back at Brown, be they staff of GlobeMed, other organizations, or even just people living in my hall."
Elaine, 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!