Giving on a Global Scale

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By Sydney Paul, Class of 2012

It's safe to say today's college students and young adults are notably more engaged socially, politically, and civically.  All you have to do is look at efforts like the Occupy Movement, the national campaign against bullying, or the 2008 and current 2012 presidential campaigns.  Even on an international scale, Invisible Children's "Kony 2012" campaign has gained a huge following and created a vigorous national dialogue.  This generation has certainly become increasingly connected and engaged with global communities.

On the University of Chicago's campus, there are over 20 out of the 58 community service student organizations who collaborate with external non-profit organizations, local, international or otherwise.  The University has recently added another exciting organization to that roster--GlobeMed.

GlobeMed is a network of university students who support and collaborate with grassroots organizations around the globe to improve healthcare for those living in poverty.  Established in 2010 by alumna Elizabeth Gaston (AB' 11), UChicago's chapter now joins a family of 45 other chapters across the United States.

UChicago's chapter is well on their way to strengthening their new family ties.  During Winter quarter, the hosted one of their major events called Global Getdown.  The event is a favorite for Director of Communications and 3rd year  Elena Hadjimichael.  "It's essentially a big party where we combine Peruvian food, performances from a number of the fantastic cultural and artistic RSOs on campus, and information about global health" said the Hadjimichael.  "I think this can only be an inspiration to our members, and it has shown us the importance of collaboration in achieving our goals and establishing our name on campus."

For second year and Director of Finance Cindy Sui, the Global Getdown was a great way for her to bond with her GlobeMed peers.  "We learned a lot about how to organize a successful event and built up trust and accountability within our group.  I feel much closer to the other members of GlobeMed and I'm giddy about our possibilities in the future."

Global Getdown was extremely successful in that it raised $690 for their partner organization, The Association of People Affected by Tubercolosis (ASPAT).  This grassroots organization, located in Callao, Peru, supports and educates those who are battling TB in their community.  This summer, the chapter will be sending a group of students to the Callao to work with ASPAT.  Sui who be taking the trip, mentioned that she is particularly excited to meet the founder of ASPAT, Melecio Mayta Ccota, a former TB patient himself.  "I've been personally inspired by his story.  Melecio is barely in his 30s, but he had the courage to start a deliberate change within his community."

GlobeMed's UChicago chapter hopes to share these same sentiments with other students on campus.  Their goal is to raise $10,000 before the end of the year.  Though they're nearly halfway there, more student support can help them realize this objective.  Hadjimichael also adds that there is more to their events than simply raising money.  "We hope that in addition to helping TB patients in Peru, we'll be able to bring something to the UChicago community, whether that be an opportunity to learn more about global health issues or a chance to kick back and enjoy one of our events."

For spring quarter, GlobeMed has many events lined up to help students remain engaged.  Next month, they will be holding a 'Stop TB Sunglasses Sale' as well as a Rummage Sale.  Next year, they plan to make their presence on campus even larger.  Though the group is fairly new on campus, their tightly knit community promises to take them a long way.

"We're a big family of driven people who really believe in global health, social entrepreneurship, and partnership and who want to share our passion with others!"

Find out how to get involved:

GlobeMed UChicago

Association of People Affected by Tuberculosis (ASPAT)

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