Today, many of the diseases that are treated with a simple immunization here in America are killing entire communities in nations abroad. That’s why GlobeMed is committed to bringing basic health equity to poverty-stricken communities in developing countries in nations like Africa, Asia, North and South America.
What’s particularly more interesting is that GlobeMed was organized and created by students in 2007. Since its founding, GlobeMed now engages over 2,000 undergraduates at 55 universities across the United States. Students at Morgan, Spelman, Howard, Georgetown and more are helping to improve the living conditions for people all over the globe. Each chapter of the organization is partnered with a one-to-one grassroots health organization in one of 19 developing countries.
Rachael Cheek is one of those 2,000 students a part of GlobeMed and serves as Director of Community Building for her local chapter at Morgan State University. She is a junior biology student and will be heading to Cameroon on May 25 for three weeks to help build sanitary hand washing systems in Kumbo.
“The most exciting thing when volunteering is just seeing the joy and satisfaction on the faces of those who I’m working with or helping,” Cheek said. “I am very passionate about serving the community and helping others in need. It is a very gratifying and meaningful experience.”
The volunteers’ fundraising efforts go to support one of six key areas: maternal health, water, sanitation & hygiene, nutrition, communicable disease prevention, capacity building, and income generation in developing countries.
“We do a lot of work in school systems because it directly correlates to our partner organization’s mission. Our partner, Knowledge For Children strives to improve the quality of education for children living in Cameroon,” Rachael said.
Rachael says she’s most interested in meeting the children at the schools that work with the chapter’s partner organization. Rachael explained she’s prepared for the culture shock of the differences of being home but will gain a better understanding of the issues that are affecting other parts of the world.
“I’m sure that this experience will change me a lot. This will be my first time leaving the country and my first experience doing mission-type work,” she said.
“When I am in Cameroon I will encounter many situations and circumstances that are much different than those of the United States,” she said. “I also feel that I’ll be more sensitive to those issues and will be even more passionate about solving issues of global health.”