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Northwestern University


A Message From Our Co-Presidents Dear Friend of GlobeMed, We are very excited to present to you this year’s 2014-2015 newsletter, with a wonderful array of stories and updates from our Northwestern chapter and partnership with the Adonai Child Development Centre in Namugoga, Uganda. For those less than familiar with the Adonai Centre, it is an organization devoted to sheltering and empowering orphans in rural, subsistence communities in central Uganda. After a tumultuous history with AIDS, civil conflict, and nonexistent infrastructure, Adonai aims to give orphans a family, food, healthcare, love, and an education that would transform their lives and open up opportunities for future success. Adonai projects in the past have included: income-generation advising and microloans, water sanitation systems, and education subsidies in order to encourage strong and sustainable community growth. Last year, we funded the construction of the health clinic and supported the installation of water and electricity utilities. This year’s fundraising efforts will provide the startup costs of a sustainable health clinic at the Adonai Centre that will serve both the students and the surrounding community. The clinic will provide self-sustaining health services

funded from affordable community user fees. Through our partnership, the Adonai Centre’s vision of offering access to quality healthcare to the entire community could become a reality, potentially benefitting hundreds of Namugoga villagers for years to come. Leading the Northwestern chapter over the past year has been both an honor and a privilege for us. Having the opportunity to deepen our partnership and friendship with the Adonai Centre this year has helped our chapter members grow and brought tangible benefits to Namugoga community members. We feel lucky that we have been able to share our journey with such an incredibly passionate and dedicated group of students and partners, and are so excited to see where the next few years will take our chapter. We hope you enjoy reading our newsletter. We are ceaselessly working towards the goal of sustainable community empowerment. If you would like to support our work with the Adonai Center, please consider donating to our cause at our Global Giving page. Also, please feel free to email us at northwestern@ with any comments, questions, or suggestions. We would love to hear from you!

Sincerely, Brittany Zelch Internal Co-President 2

Matthew Zhou External Co-President

Evanston, Illinois, USA

Namugoga, Uganda 3

How can we maximize positive outcomes of global engagement programs? By Nick Wang, Director of Advocacy

In the hot Ghanaian summer, Victor Roy stood by a Jeep outside of the HOPE Center in Ho, Ghana, and had his conversion experience. After talking with the founder and director of the HOPE Center, Joseph, for a long time about the piles of donated medical supplies that sat unused and unneeded around the compound, Victor was getting frustrated. “Why don’t you just say something?” he asked. “Why don’t you just ask the donors to give things that you actually need?” Joseph looked at Victor and simply replied, “Victor, we’re African. We listen to our donors.” That moment has become the legendary turning point in GlobeMed lore, the moment when the organization fundamentally shifted its priorities from a medical supplies redistribution student group to a non-profit global health equity student movement. That moment shows how our organization was founded on the simple belief that the way in which aid is distributed is fundamentally flawed, and we can do something about it by changing the way we give aid through concerted partnership (GROW trips) and an educational component that encourages chapter members to think critically (ghU sessions). This year we are revisiting this origin story and using it as a way to incorporate a

new and important component to our network: advocacy. The focus of our advocacy program will be to take the lessons that we learned from our experiences with aid distribution and partnerships and apply them more broadly to the universities that attend. Our goal is to take a critical look at how global engagement programs are run at universities, and how these institutions ensure that students, researchers, and other representatives of the university are trained to minimize harm abroad. We ultimately hope to encourage universities to fundamentally adjust the way they think about sending people abroad and create a set of guidelines that will improve transparency and accountability of this process. This goal, we believe, fits perfectly within the mission and values of GlobeMed as an organization; we now know a lot about how to do international development work in a way that maximizes positive outcomes for the communities involved, and we want to be able to spread these values and lessons to our host universities. This is a long and complex process but over the next few years we hope to have some tangible results in place. For now we are excited to start the process and hopeful of the progress we can achieve together as a united network.

“Victor, we’re African. We listen to our donors.”


World Day Of Social Justice: Engaging the campus on mental health By Nida Bajwa This year, GlobeMed participated in the World Day of Social Justice, engaging with the ideas of mental health and its associated stigmas. A committee of GlobeMed members including Jason Chen, Ashley Radee, Camille Cooley, and Stephan Kienzle organized the event, setting up a campaign in Norris University Student Center which asked Northwestern University students to respond to the statement, “Mental health means…” Throughout the day, students came up and wrote their thoughts about mental health on the board, and over the course of the day, various opinions and ideas were collected. In addition, GlobeMed members spread balloons with mental health facts written on them throughout campus. (Continued on the next page). 5

(Continued from previous page). Committee member Ashley Radee said, in regards to the aims of the campaign, “We were trying to not only raise awareness but challenge people to think about how things they do directly contribute to stigma of mental health issues.” Committee members agreed that the campaign was effective. “There were a lot of people who stopped by our table in Norris and actually took a moment to really think about mental health,” said Radee. “There was a man visiting who actually stopped to chat and thank us for tackling the subject.” The World Day of Social Justice campaign brings up an important idea for the future of GlobeMed: what is the intersectionality of GlobeMed and campus activism? How much


should GlobeMed chapters take part in other forms of activism happening on campus? Committee members agreed that activism is a fundamental piece of the GlobeMed objective, and felt GlobeMed should continue to be involved and further its involvement with activism on campus. Committee member Camille Cooley believes GlobeMed itself is an activist organization, but that there is certainly potential for further involvement. Radee agreed, saying “Our mission, health as a human right, is social justice. Healthcare and access intersect with a lot of social issues (class, race, gender, etc.), so I think these are all things that we need to be cognizant of. As advocacy develops, I hope to see GlobeMed have a larger presence in activism both on and off campus.”

Reflections on This Year’s Global HealthU By Lizzy Kim

Q: What was your vision for gHU this year?

A: (Neha Reddy, ghU coordinator) This past year, we focused gHUs on the broader theme of

gender, sexuality, and health. Gender and sexuality are two of the largest social determinants of health, and we feel they have been especially relevant to events that have occurred on Northwestern’s campus the past couple of years. We were interested in allowing chapter members to reflect upon and discuss the tangible ways that gender and sexuality manifest themselves as social determinants of health on a holistic level, in terms of how they affect an individual’s total wellbeing. (Natalie Sack, ghU coordinator) During fall quarter, we prioritized giving new members a foundational understanding of the structures of power and oppression that perpetuate global health inequities. Moving into winter quarter, we aimed to focus on health issues connected to gender and sexuality. Beyond it being a really timely topic--in light of the media’s focus on sexual assault and university campus rape culture--we were really personally connected to the topic.

Q: What was your favorite gHU, and why?

A: (Natalie) My favorite ghU from our term was when we invited Jazz from the on-campus Title

IX campaign and Susan from NU Listens to our chapter meeting. It took a while to coordinate, but I just remember feeling so grateful that they took the time out of their schedules to join GlobeMedders in an informal discussion about sexual violence at Northwestern. We really wanted to bring in voices from outside the chapter, and we thought Jazz and Susan were strong examples of student leaders with very different connections to the issue. So often sexual violence is labeled as a gender issue, but the conversation focused on how our university culture and American society at large has silently condoned such behavior. We also explored sexual violence as a public health issue with strong physical and mental health consequences.

Q: What were some of the challenges in coordinating gHUs at the Northwestern chapter?

A: (Neha) One of the biggest consistent challenges was deciding how to present topics in interactive and innovative manners that allow chapter members to engage to their fullest potential. We did not want to simply lecture during chapter meetings and make them seem like another class that members must sit through, so we spent time thinking about what types of activities and discussion questions would best pique people’s interests and allow them to share their thoughts. We were happy with the level of participation from chapter members overall.

Q: What are the three things necessary for a successful gHU?

A: (Natalie) (1) A topic ghU Coordinators are excited/curious about or invested in--if the facili-

tators are pumped for the discussion, this often encourages everyone else to engage more. (2) Thought-provoking, open ended questions. Even better if they’re controversial! (3) Members actually play a huge role in the success of the ghU. I would say the most crucial ingredient is meaningful dialogue with peers, and members have to be willing and ready to critically engage with the issues presented. 7

“Examining the obstacles that girls face to attending and completing school in Namugoga, Uganda” By Neha Reddy, Rafa Ifthikhar, Amanda Blazek GROW Team 2014 Tell us about your project. What inspired your work? The three of us comprised last summer’s GROW team for GlobeMed at Northwestern. Every summer, the GROW team travels to the site of GlobeMed’s partner organization, Adonai Child Development Centre in Namugoga, Uganda, to assess the status of previous fundraising initiatives, get to know the staff members at Adonai and the surrounding community, and carry out a research project. As three girls that went on the trip, we were interested to conduct a research project that related to assessing the wellbeing of girls. In Namugoga, as in much of Uganda and Sub Saharan Africa, there exists a large gender discrepancy in the education system, as boys attend and complete school at much higher rates than girls. We wanted to carry out a research project to examine the obstacles that girls face in the community to attending and completing school; our goal is to present our findings to the Adonai Centre, and implement necessary projects or initiatives into future partnership plans through between GlobeMed and Adonai. How did your experience on the ground vary from your expectations? It is one thing to hear about Adonai Child Development Centre during GlobeMed meetings at Northwestern; it is a very different thing to visit the center firsthand, meet the staff members, the children, and the community members that make it such a special place and make us so proud of the partnership. Aloysious Luswata, the director of Adonai, and his wife Abby are such wonderful and caring people who play such an influential role in the wellbeing of the entire 8

community. They took us in, made us feel truly welcomed, and tried to make our trip as fruitful and rewarding as possible; they were like parents to us when we were there, which made us feel at home and allowed us to immerse ourselves as much as possible. I don’t think we expected the experience to be as memorable as it was, and we all got a sense that GlobeMed’s partnership really is making a tangible impact in the community.

What was your most challenging moment, and how did you cope?

What was your most meaningful experience abroad, and what did it teach you? Our most memorable and meaningful experiences from Uganda come from our conversations with girls in the village of Namugoga. Due to our research exploring the nature of girl’s education, we spoke to over 20 girls about their experience growing up in the community, diving into topics ranging from school systems to families to community expectations. These significant conversations allowed us to connect with these young women and form personal relationships with community members from the start. Their insightful responses not only aided us in our research, but allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of the culture in which we worked and learned. One young woman in particular stands out -she was only 15 years old, and had dropped out of school due to having a baby at the age of 13. She spoke to us of her responsibilities as a mother, of the circumstances which led her to become pregnant, and her inability to return to school after the birth of her child. This young mother embodied many of the issues we were looking to address in our research, and being able to hear of their consequences firsthand was moving and meaningful for all of us.

During our trip, we got exposed to the reality of the lack of easy and accessible healthcare for people living in and around Namugoga, Uganda. Neha got sick during the trip and required hospitalization a couple of times, but the nearest hospital was in Kampala about one hour away. It was challenging at first learning how to navigate these setbacks, especially feelings of guilt for asking Aloysious and other staff members at Adonai to transport us to Kampala to get the necessary care. However, everyone was really supportive and encouraged us to ask for help whenever we needed it. We felt truly cared for, so it was a challenge that we were able to handle comfortably. Did you encounter any cultural differences that required getting used to? During the first couple weeks while we were in Uganda we had to get used to many things, but most of these had to do more with resource deprivation in the area rather than the culture. For example, we had to get used to having cold showers and being cautious about the water we drank. These differences took some adjusting to get used to but after the first week of our trip they did not bother us. The three of us really enjoy learning about different cultures and wanted to fully experience Uganda by immersing ourselves in the culture. In our free time, we helped the seventh grade students at Adonai with their homework and, in turn, they taught us some words in Lugandan, the local language. During our stay we also tried many Ugandan foods such as matoke (plantains), chapati (wheat flat bread), cassava (a starchy plant), and lots of different Ugandan curries. We enjoyed going to church every Sunday with the employees and students of the Adonai Center and they graciously allowed us to participate during services. This included “praise (Continued on the next page). 9

(Continued from previous page). and worship� time when everyone in the church would clap, dance and sing along to traditional Ugandan songs. Ugandan culture is vibrant, genuine, celebratory and accepting, and we had an amazing time learning about Uganda throughout our trip. Has your summer experience impacted your future goals and interests at Northwestern? Each of us was interested in global health prior to our experience in Uganda, but our summer experience deepened our passion for global health issues and research. The first-hand experiences we had in Uganda have reinforced and expanded our interest in the field of international public health, as well as the importance of community partnerships in supporting on-the-ground movements. The relationships that we developed with Ugandan locals gave a face to the global health issues that are prevalent in Uganda and other parts of the world. These relation-

ships have strengthened our commitment to pursuing careers that incorporate aspects of global health and community development. Do you have any advice for students wishing to conduct research in an unfamiliar location? We all strongly encourage students to take advantage of opportunities and resources to conduct research abroad, and to step outside of their comfort zones in an unfamiliar location. This is one of the best ways to learn about your own strengths and weaknesses, your ability to cope with challenges, and your ability to handle new situations with confidence and independence. When traveling to an unfamiliar location to conduct research, it is crucial to take advantage of local people who are willing to help you, be there for support, and direct you towards key resources. This makes the adjustment process so much easier, and makes you feel comforted even when you are in a completely foreign, unknown setting.

A Brief History: The Adonai Centre for Child Development Adonai Child Care Center is a program of the Victors Church in Namugoga, a small village in rural Uganda. Our aim is simple: to provide for the needs of children orphaned by AIDS and the extended civil unrest in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country. More than 2.4 million children in Uganda are affected. Adonai provides a home and school and basic medical care in addition to a feeding program to ensure the health and welfare of the children in our care. 1992 1997 2000 2005 2007 2008 2012 Today 10

Namugoga Victor’s Church is founded by Aloysious Luswata A small community school opens to support 30 students The school closes due to insufficient funds and the church building collapses School reopens with 150 students and the church is rebuilt With the help of Fields of Life, the center expands to seven classrooms Adonai starts experimenting with livestock income-generating programs GlobeMed and Adonai begin their partnership The Adonai Centre teaches around 300 students and is home to 20 orphans

health education in order to prevent the transmission of malaria. Though malaria is considered by the WHO to be easily treatable and preventable, it yet still has a negative impact on many communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. In developing our research project with the input of Northwestern faculty and previous GlobeMed students, we decided to frame our research project as an ethnographic study on the cultural understandings of malaria in Namugoga and experienced realities related to the disease. While this topic will be broad By Carol Feng, GRow Coordinator enough to capture the possible breadth of knowledge and experiences in the community, our research will also center around the community’s perceptions of and interactions with insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs). By understanding the distribution, usage, and efficacy of the ITNs, we hope to take a human-centered design approach to understanding how something as seemingly simple as an ITN interfaces with individuals and local culture, creating a socio-technical system within Namugoga. With our study, we hope that the information collected will elucidate a picture of malaria and current efforts to reduce transmission rates, which will later help us and the Adonai Center to collaboratively identify better ways of designing health education and other aspects of malaria prevention and treatment, all the while recognizing and respecting the context of the lives we hope to improve. In addition to the research project, the The 2015 GROW team: Carol Feng, Victoria Zapater, GROW team is also incredibly excited to finally Marilyn Janisch, and Neil Thivalapill. meet Aloysious, his family, the students and staff at the Adonai Center, and the community Diverse in academic backgrounds and members in Namugoga. We feel lucky to have international experience, our team this year is excited to be working on a research focus that the opportunity to meet face-to-face and work hand-in-hand with our partners and are lookallows us to approach our Grassroots On-site Work with an interdisciplinary lens. The project ing forward to seeing the current status of the we are developing will challenge us to integrate health clinic being built on the Adonai grounds. Looking beyond the scope of the six weeks for our backgrounds and skills in anthropology, our trip, the team will also be having discuscognitive science, global health, and design sions with Aloysious and other members of thinking. the Adonai Child Development Centre board to Earlier this year when talking to Aloysdevelop next year’s Partnership Action Frameious, the founder and director of our partner work to guide and strengthen our partnership organization, we learned that one of the goals for the future. the Adonai Child Development Centre has for the upcoming 2015-2016 year is to improve

Introducing GROW Team 2015


Meet Our Chapter! We asked eight members to share their stories. By Gordon Younkin

Jason Chen

Lizzy Kim

GlobeMed has expanded my horizons by bringing together many different people with different views and has challenged me to think critically about key issues that affect both myself and people around the world.

Through GlobeMed I have been embedded into a community of peers passionate about international affairs and human rights and and it continually challenges me to think deeper and creatively about issues that pervade both the US and international spheres.

Nicholas Wang

Jessica Hoffen

GlobeMed has reaffirmed my passion for global health, it has allowed me to dive into complex and fascinating topics and explore the root causes of these problems, it has taught me new and valuable ways of approaching solutions, and it has given me the opportunity to meet and interact with some of the brightest and most incredible people here at NU and beyond.

I believe health care is a right, that an individual’s socioeconomic status and place of birth should not play a role in whether they are able to live a healthy life. I believe that through investing in global health we are investing in a more just functional world.

Year in School: Sophomore Major: Environmental Science Hometown: Rye, NY

Year in School: Senior Major: Anthropology Hometown: Seattle, WA


Year in School: Sophomore Major: Journalism Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Year in School: Sophomore Major: Psychology Hometown: Northbrook, IL

DhWani jain

Natalie Sack

Year in School: Senior Major: Communication Studies Hometown: Evanston, IL

Year in School: Junior Major: Social Policy Hometown: Weston, FL

What do you hope to do after graduation? Work at a marketing agency and eventually move to LA and do analytics work for a major entertainment company like 21st Century Fox or Viacom.

During winter quarter, we focused our ghU modules on health issues related to gender and sexuality, transitioning from the local, Northwestern context to a larger, more international focus. These ghU’s functioned as a space for our members to speak openly about how gender as a construct shapes their personal experiences.

Odette Zero

Carol Feng

I am also the co-director of a new club on campus, the Community Health Corps, whose mission is to improve health outcomes in the Evanston/Skokie Area by improving access to health resources and information. We are creating student-run health desks at the Evanston/Skokie libraries and training students to be advocates of the Erie Family Health Center.

I am currently preparing to apply to medical school this spring. While I know the next few months will be challenging, GlobeMed has provided me with experiences that enrich my understanding of health and confidence when speaking about my dedication to medicine.

Year in School: Sophomore Major: Anthropology Hometown: Zionsville, IN

Year in School: Junior Major: Cognitive Science Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL


Campaigns Bring in the Big Bucks By Lizzy Kim



total amount of money raised from the 2nd annual Ugly Sweater Sale

total number of sweaters sold during the 2nd annual Ugly Sweater Sale


A challenge for our campaigns committee was...

number of runners at the 5K/Fun Run

“...finding creative ways to have effective campaigns without a lot of overhead cost as every single penny we raise goes directly to the Adonai Center!�

150 total amount of baked goods sold at the bake sales

- John Galyas, Co-director of Campaigns

$4,200 total amount of money raised from the Sweater Sale, 5K/Fun Run, and bake sales


Community Building By Connie Panton, co-Director of Community Building The Community Building Committee works to facilitate friendships and connections both within members of the organization, and between the organization and the wider Northwestern and Chicago communities, including other GlobeMed chapters. Each spring, we hold a “Windy City Retreat” with UChicago and Loyola’s chapters, where we learn about each other’s partner organizations and events they hold throughout the year, as well as hear from various guest speakers. This fall, the Chicago chapters joined again at Loyola’s campus for a candlelit vigil in honor of the first annual Global Health Day of Action. Article 25, an organization founded within only the last year, organized this October 25 Day of Action, in which events were held in more than 40 countries around the world, bringing people from all walks of life together to reiterate their belief in health as a human right. The goal was to pressure international leaders to remember the right to health as a priority as they revisit the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. The main speaker of the night was University of Chicago human rights lawyer Brian Citro, who spoke about what makes a rights-based approach to health fundamentally different from other approaches. He discussed how this approach brings in the participation of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in society to the process of making decisions about their own health, and recognizing that these people know things about their health that policymakers often do not. The event culminated in a candlelight vigil to remember the 400 million people who have died in the last 25 years from preventable diseases.


GlobeMed at Northwestern Alissa Zhu Amanda Blazek Amy Lin Anne Debertin Ashley Radee Austin Schlatter Aysha Salter-Volz Brittany Zelch Camille Cooley Carol Feng Connie Panton Dhwani Jain Duncan Orlander Lizzy Kim

Gordon Younkin Grace Jing Isabel Ngan Jason Chen Jessica Hoffen John Galyas Karishma Daftary Marilyn Janisch Matthew Zhou Natalie Sack Neha Reddy Neil Thivalapill Nicholas Wang Nida Bajwa

A view of Adonai classrooms during the rainy season. Photo by Amanda Blazek


Nora Jandali Odette Zero Rafa Ifthikhar Robert Barnes Shruti Africawala Sonali Patel Srisundesh Kodali Stephan Kienzle Tamar Eisen Tiana Hickey Udita Persaud Victoria Zapater Zachary Piser

Northwestern GlobeMed 2014-2015  

Learn about what GlobeMed at Northwestern University's been up to with our annual newsletter!

Northwestern GlobeMed 2014-2015  

Learn about what GlobeMed at Northwestern University's been up to with our annual newsletter!