Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Like mother, like daughter

It is really satisfying when I see US college students engaged in world health issues.  They bring a wonderful level of idealism and enthusiasm, plus new ideas.  Of course, too, they get to meet and work with people from different cultures and economic situations, something important to their own development as world citizens.

How much more so when their activities follow in the footsteps of parents who have likewise made contributions to the world.  So, I was really pleased to see this story from Notre Dame University in which Katherine Spencer is quoted as explaining the purpose and goals of a program called GlobeMed.  Kate is the daughter of the late Monique Doyle Spencer, who is well known to my regular readers.

Kate carries her own well in this story, and her mother would have been proud.  Excerpts:

The new chapter became part of a student-run non-profit organization with 50 chapters at universities across the United States, according to junior Kate Spencer, a campaign coordinator with GlobeMed. As part of the organization, each chapter partners with a community-based grassroots organization facing health disparities in Africa, Asia, North America, and South America, Spencer said.

“[Our] chapters build these partnerships through frequent communication and innovative fundraising initiatives for collaborative health projects that help our partner organizations achieve their missions,” she said. Discussions on global health issues prevail in the classroom while internships are also arranged with partner organizations overseas.

Spencer said the GlobeMed organization paired the Notre Dame chapter with the Laos network and students were thrilled to be working with them. PEDA is a non-profit organization based in Vientiane, Laos.

“Working with PEDA would give [GlobeMed members] the opportunity to make a tangible difference in Laos, but also educate students at Notre Dame about a country halfway around the world with a rich culture and history,” she said.

Spencer noted that the excitement to participate in GlobeMed was mutual.

“This is an opportunity for us to collaborate with GlobeMed and its students to improve the health of the communities, to exchange experiences about our works, open our ear to listen to new ideas from young generation...” chairman assistant and project coordinator at PEDA Thipphavanh Thammachith said through GlobeMed’s Notre Dame chapter. “That we may apply new ideas to our work and on the community projects, as our work is to provide technical information and education to support the community potential in solving socio-economic, health issues and so forth. 

Offering a unique and opening environment, GlobeMed provides many windows for involvement for all majors and those interested in global health. Spencer said the chapter is always looking for more members.

“We truly believe that health is a human right, and that we, as students, can be powerful agents of change,” Spencer said.

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