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GROW January 2013

 

 

GrassRoots On-site Work Internship Report                        

Sanjana Patel ‘13 Steven Ham ‘13 Nicole Meyers ‘14 Nicole Giddens ‘14

       

 

GlobeMed at Cornell University partnering with the Center for Promotion and Comprehensive Care of Adolescents (CEPAIPA) in La Libertad, Ecuador


GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

PART I: PARTNERSHIP OVERVIEW What is GlobeMed? Based in Evanston, IL, GlobeMed is a national student-driven nonprofit network of 50 university chapters that aims to strengthen the movement for global health equity by empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world. GlobeMed’s model is based on three core pillars: 1. partner students with grassroots organizations to address health disparities 2. educate and train student advocates for global health equity 3. build a movement of people who believe in health and justice for all What is the history of GlobeMed’s partnership with CEPAIPA? The partnership between GlobeMed at Cornell University and CEPAIPA (Center for Promotion and Comprehensive Care of Adolescents) in La Libertad, Ecuador dates back to 2010. In the spring of 2010, GlobeMed’s National Office sent two Partner Search Fellows, Hannah and Rachel, to travel throughout Latin America to meet with grassroots health leaders, like Dra. Alexandra, and find partner organizations for new GlobeMed chapters. As one of 14 new chapters in Fall 2010, GlobeMed at Cornell’s roots were established. We were matched with CEPAIPA and introduced to Dra. A to begin to understand each other’s organizations and communities, develop our relationship, and discuss project ideas. During the 2010-2011 school year, GlobeMed at Cornell raised $4000 to support a variety of CEPAIPA’s on-going activities including: health workshops, community open houses, a jewelry-making project for adolescent girls, peer health promoter training, and a marketing campaign to advertise CEPAIPA’s services in the Santa Elena municipality. Since Fall 2011, with a fundraising goal of $10,500, we have been equipping a diagnostic laboratory at CEPAIPA to facilitate rapid HIV diagnosis. As of Spring 2012, we have $3500 to go! Beyond designing and implementing fundraising campaigns to support CEPAIPA’s health projects, we are committed to learning, teaching, and training the next generation of social justice advocates. During each staff meeting, we dedicate time to our student-designed global health curriculum—or “globalhealthU.” With this year’s theme as “expanding the dialogue on health and human rights”, we have engaged our chapter staff and campus community in critical discussion around health as a human right and its application to our grassroots collaboration with CEPAIPA.

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

Why GROW? Traditionally, in the process of learning and training to become future leaders in social justice, students from GlobeMed chapters intern annually on-site at their partner organization to facilitate communication, to collaborate in the first-hand assessment of community needs, to strengthen the overall partnership, and to delineate specific goals for the upcoming academic year. Needless to say, our young chapter had been overdue for a GROW internship experience. GROW has enabled us to take the next step to grow as a chapter and deepen our relationship with CEPAIPA. The goals of our first GROW experience were: 1. to meet and hear the stories and experiences of Dra. A, the staff, and the students 2. to engage in discussion to critically reflect on our partnership... to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses 3. to discuss the future of our work together, establish a unified vision, and set shortterm and long-term goals 4. to bring personal stories and positive energy back to our chapter to motivate us to work harder than ever

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

II. CONTEXT of CEPAIPA High School: Colegio Celleri (La Libertad, Santa Elena, Ecuador) • technical high school for students ages 11 to 18; three shifts (morning, afternoon, and evening) to accommodate work schedule • coursework: science, math, English, marketing, economics, etc. (possibility of creating a course that teaches and enables students to manage GlobeMed-funded lab—a sustainable option) • various directors of internal and external affairs History of CEPAIPA • started in 2002 by Dra. Alexandra Tamayo, a local physician interested in adolescent health who saw a lack of youth advocacy as well as health and social support of adolescents in community • several Peace Corps Volunteers have been assigned to CEPAIPA since its start; each have had a variety of contributions to CEPAIPA’s model and programs CEPAIPA Model & Philosophy • emphasis on sustainability; volunteer student-led youth groups • engaging students in personal and peer health promotions (workshops, festivals, open houses) - empowering students by training them as peer health educators • more than just health: creating a family/community of support and investing in students’ long-term wellbeing • positive alternative to life on the streets (gangs, drugs) which is common for youth seeking a sense of belonging • expanding to other high schools and communities in the area

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

CEPAIPA Staff & Students a. Dra. Alexandra – Medical Director • loving single mother of two; proud mom of the beauty pageant Queen of La Libertad; embraces the fact that she can’t cook • well-connected and respected in the community (knows EVERYONE!); very accessible and well-liked by the students; extremely invested in the students • physician interested in adolescent and reproductive health • currently temporarily employed by the municipality to serve as expert witness for domestic and sexual abuse cases • “I wanted to get engaged in public health because it would afford me the opportunity to impact the greatest number of people.” b. Jefferson – Operating Director (volunteer) • was a student at Colegio Celleri and part of first CEPAIPA youth group in 2002 • currently moonlighting at university to get a degree in petroleum engineering while working as a security guard during the day (and volunteering at CEPAIPA!) c. Youth Group Coordinators (8-11 volunteers) • Zaboo • Pepe Lucho • Wilma • Marcus • Diana • alumni of high school Celleri that volunteer to coordinate health program and community-building activities for CEPAIPA students; all currently working or attending university e. Students • Alison, Morocho (Graciela), Gabriela, Bryan, Oswaldo, Rosita, Natalie, Alexandro

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

CEPAIPA Students’ Interests & Activities • very creative; expressing themselves through different forms of art (dance, acting, singing, painting, drawing) - for example, painted mural at CEPAIPA by themselves! • festivals to showcase their talents and teach their community: HIV/AIDS Day, World Peace Day, Tobacco Day, Nonviolence Day • smaller workshops on decision-making, life/family planning, gender dynamics and relationships, financial planning

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

III. JANUARY 2013 GROW ACTIVITIES Home Visits • witnessed firsthand the living conditions of a couple of the students; homes were typically conjoined with storefronts • anecdotal learning regarding social and peer pressures faced by students and familial tensions these issues often created •discussion of the impact that CEPAIPA and the cultivation of positive values has had on students, both from the students’ and families’ perspectives • additional exposure to living conditions and youth issues within La Libertad through daily travels around the city with students Workshops a. GlobeMed Workshops • able to convey the model of GlobeMed, our core values, how we function at both a chapter level and a national level, how we raise money, etc. - to CEPAIPA students; to general students and faculty of Colegio Celleri (was especially important to convey the impact of our partnership and value of CEPAIPA) • shared pamphlet with brief descriptions/photos of each member of our chapter to Dra. Alexandra, Jefferson, Zaboo, and several of the CEPAIPA students • wanted to make sure that they gained extensive insight into how GlobeMed works, (like we were able to learn about CEPAIPA’s model and operations)

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

b. HIV/AIDS & Health Workshops • able to teach students some of the key points relating to HIV/AIDS • engaged in open/honest conversations and discussions with the students about safe sexual behavior and how HIV/AIDS is viewed in their community (stigma, social taboo) • also able to assess their knowledge and perception of these health and social matters Community-Building • was one of the most important objectives of our trip (lots of photos & videos!) • was able to connect with the students by participating in what they love to do (performing arts); lots of theatrics, singing, dancing, and showing off unique talents • played games such as Pictionary which solidified our relationships with each other – could joke around, talk about movies and songs (lot of commonalities) • built meaningful relationships with the students, Jefferson, Zaboo—which creates a far more sustainable partnership than just connecting with Dra. Alexandra

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

Review of Memoranda of Understanding • reviews of past years’ MoUs (2010-11, 2 01112, and current 2012-13) through interviews and conversations with CEPAIPA leadership (Dra. Alexanda, Jefferson, and Zaboo) • focused on 5 focus areas of the MoU: communication, partnership, GROW, evaluation/reflection 1. Communication • slight disconnect between CEPAIPA students and GlobeMed since Dra. Alexandra is our only contact • suggestion to continue collaborating with Dra. A in developing/implementing projects but have Jefferson and youth coordinators as a part o f the conversation - as per Dra. A’s suggestion—she wants to make sure our partnership is sustainable beyond just her • improve communication between CEPAIPA students and GlobeMed staff - they are really looking forward to the opportunity to meet ALL of us! - suggestions (at minimum): Skype between E-board and CEPAIPA coordinators (every 4-6 weeks); Skype at beginning and end of every semester with entire GlobeMed staff - logistical considerations: internet access is limited (would have to go to internet cafe to Skype) so we would have to coordinate carefully beforehand; also CEPAIPA leadership (Jefferson, Zaboo) has other commitments (university, jobs) and students need to ask their parents for permission to go somewhere after school (Jefferson & Zaboo are able to coordinate this) • CEPAIPA loves Facebook and most of them are on it; good way to sustain lighthearted communication - suggestion to create a group for GlobeMed + CEPAIPA • Jefferson/Zaboo suggested a quarterly report (twice a semester) to exchange with updates on events, photos, etc - we need to be documenting our day-to-day activities more! - a template that we can both use—created by Director of Communications

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

2. Project • goal to finish equipping the lab this semester (goal = $3500) • Dra. A will hold off on inauguration of lab until May (after students come back from summer break—March/April) • next year, refocus efforts on open houses and workshops—CEPAIPA wants to expand their reach into more rural communities • wants us to help with: - costumes for their theater performances (campaign event = Halloween costume drive!?) - health education curriculum/materials (wants new ideas and materials; more about how we teach these important health topics in the U.S.) - laptop/camera for CEPAIPA (currently Dra. A is not around to lend her laptop for CEPAIPA’s use) – Summer 2013 GROW? (CEPAIPA wants to create some sort of documentary/film about the lives of the students, the mission of CEPAIPA, etc.) • 3-5 year vision: CEPAIPA campus! - had a donated plot of land back in 2005 before our partnership; had span of 3 years to build something but didn’t have to funds so they lost the land - their long-term vision is to create a youth bureau as a positive resource for young people in their community (for example, have different classrooms/building for theater performances, after-school tutoring lessons, health workshops, etc) - something Summer 2013 GROW team should definitely work on while on-site (ie. making a timeline/estimated cost, working with Dra. A and Jefferson on logistics)

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

3. GROW • really excited for us to come back and stay longer— there’s lots to work on • creating a 3-5 year partnership vision (CEPAIPA campus!) • can help organize open houses, festivals, workshops (health, life planning, relationships, etc) – these are the activities that CEPAIPA thrives on! • absolutely critical that GROW interns can speak Spanish!!! 4/5. Evaluation/Reflection • Summer 2013 GROW: creating monitoring & evaluation mod el that GROW can use year after year - Dra. A has a lot of “data” (not electronic) but how to compile/share it. Teaching her how to use Google Docs/DropBox? • Summer 2013 GROW: developing way to apply metrics to all the open houses/workshops CEPAIPA hosts; more thorough quantitative assessments about what people learn, and how effective these workshops are Financial Review & Assessing Progress on CEPAIPA Laboratory • essential laboratory equipment for rapid blood analysis have been purchased (in part on credit) • hematological counter yet to be delivered • visiting CEPAIPA allowed for firsthand explanation (along with photos) of where funds have gone thus far, and where additional support is needed - $4000 allocated during 2010-11 was allocated to health workshops and open houses (Dr. A managed to implement the project using only $2000, and put the other $2000 towards the lab) - $5000 from 2011-12 year = total of $7000 towards lab - total cost of lab is $10,500 - $3,500 in credit purchases for laboratory equipment should be paid by May – (this has established a concrete fundraising goal for our organization this semester, and the should be wired to Dr. A by the end of April)

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

IV. CONCLUSION Cultural Activities & Tourism • The Peninsula is a beautiful place with beaches (great for soaking in the sun, freshly crackedopen coconuts, swimming (Steve), and personal hair-braiding (Nicole G) • We made sure to stop and try some of the delicious local food (including choclo, a surprising wonderful concoction of corn and cheese) • For Sanjana, most of this “local food” turned out to be chocolate cake, as Ecuadorians’ concept of vegetarianism was limited • Dra. A took us dancing one night in the cute little town of Montañita • On the second to last day, we hiked to the westernmost point in the country, called La Chocolatera because it supposedly looks like chocolate from outer space. It was a military base, and had beautiful untouched beaches (unfortunately Steve was napping and missed this!) • Overall, we immersed ourselves in Ecuadorian culture as much as we could (Nicole M really developed her Spanish language skills, even if she continued to talk to everyone in English like they actually knew what she was saying) :) Other Cultural Shenanigans · learned the main industries that individuals typically work for (for example, Jefferson is going to school to work for the petroleum industry) · interacted with many of the local people; went out to dinner frequently for native food—this outdoor barbeque place in La Libertad was delicious! · came to the understanding that there is no real sense of “time” in Ecuador; people move at their own pace and typically just go with the flow · everyone greets one another with a friendly greeting (good day, good afternoon, etc.) and typically a hug and kiss. · most food is very inexpensive, and they use American currency · majority of people in the community speak very minimal or no English · able to easily navigate the area by the end of the trip (buses, taxis, etc.)

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

Personal Reflections

Steven Ham ‘13 I have been blessed with two parents who have sacrificed their entire lives for my brother and me. The unwavering strength and support my parents have exhibited for me, even at times of weakness or despair, have allowed me to become the individual that I am today, and this is something I will never take for granted. Witnessing firsthand some of the struggles the students of La Libertad and CEPAIPA go through, and the lack of role models or peers they can turn to with the dearth of youth organizations in Ecuador was an eye opening experience for me. After our visit to Ecuador, I can confidently state that the impact that CEPAIPA has had on these students is both tangible and sustainable. By developing youth advocates for social change and health, CEPAIPA serves as a model organization for how society can improve youth health and begin to prevail over some of the various factors inhibiting the fulfillment of health equity in the world. Visiting CEPAIPA has definitely helped me humanize the various statistics and anecdotal evidence I have been presented with regarding global health issues, and it was an experience I will never forget.

Nicole Giddens ‘14 I can truly say that this GROW internship was one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences I have ever been lucky enough to be a part of in my entire life. I am so, so grateful for everything that I am blessed with in my life, but I feel that sometimes it is easy to lose focus of the things that truly matter. Seeing firsthand some of the struggles and obstacles these students have to face everyday really grounded me, but also reminded me of how vital these friendships and connections are. They have so much to teach us, and I feel I am benefitting just as much from this partnership as they are. It is definitely an experience I will never forget, and one I will bring with me for the rest of my life as I continue this path of global health equity.

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

Nicole Meyers ‘14 I found this GROW internship to be one of the most worthwhile and rewarding experiences I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of. There are so many aspects of CEPAIPA, the surrounding community, and most importantly our partnership, that I would have been unaware of had I not been on the ground. There is so much that unfortunately gets lost in translation, or simply never gets said because of the difficulty of communication, and thus this trip was absolutely critical for both our GlobeMed chapter and for CEPAIPA. This experience certainly confirmed to me that partnership is the only means by which we can truly make a difference and help to address health disparities around the world. I saw first hand how this partnership model works, and how working together enables both parties to be so much stronger than they ever could have been on their own.

Sanjana Patel ‘13 Like many other GlobeMedders, I ’ve poured my heart and soul into our chapter over the past three years. GlobeMed has been the single most defining part of my college experience, and I’m confident that the lessons and perspective I’ve gained along the way will continue to inform my future. On GROW, the thing that struck me most was CEPAIPA’s sincerity and continuous expression of gratitude for the opportunity to work with us. I wish I could have done more to express how mutual our feelings were! My favorite part of GlobeMed (okay, there are too many and I can’t really choose) is the aspect of continuous learning from each other. Our partnership provides one of the greatest platforms for this. While students at CEPAIPA are able to learn about how to lead healthy and productive lives, they give us as college students the incredible opportunity to learn as well by joining others half a world away and working together in creating a more just and equitable world. The indispensible opportunity to be a part of GROW brought everything in full circle, and affirmed my utmost belief in GlobeMed’s model to transform lives and communities.

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

Moving Forward Together: Recommendations for Chapter Leadership • Co-Presidents: arrange more Skype meetings with CEPAIPA • Finances: work with external CoPresident to keep up-to-date on fundraising and wire transfers, and how funds are being utilized for projects • Communication: develop a template for a bimonthly report that we could exchange with CEPAIPA • Campaigns: push to raise a minimum of $3500 to finish lab project by the end of the Spring 2013 semester • globalhealthU: use media content and stories to personalize the curriculum to our partner! • Community-Building: work with Communications to create Facebook group to facilitate informal conversations with CEPAIPA students (community building across continents!) • GROW (Summer 2013): use us (as well as this guide) as resources to make the best of your 4-week internship during the summer!

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GlobeMed at Cornell University | GROW Report | January 2013

V. APPENDIX Attachments & External Links a. Website/Blog b. Media: Photos & Videos c. Annual Reports: 2010-11, 2011-12 d. Facebook, Twitter e. Partner Site Manual Ideas for Continuing Collaboration with Cornell Engaged Learning + Research GlobeMed can… • present at CCELR global engagement symposium in April • network with other CCELR-affiliated organizations (like the Knitting Club) to collaborate on on-campus activities • help CCELR host workshops about student-driven organizations (branding, advocacy, creating/sustaining partnerships, etc) • volunteer to help organize/facilitate global service learning events (speakers, panelists, administrative support)

Cornell Engaged Learning + Research can… • provide pre-departure resources for GlobeMed summer 2013 GROW team • speak with Dr. Alexandra, a grassroots leader to establish a nonprofit in an international setting, and leverage her expertise to support Cornell students

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GROW Report (January 2013)