All 4 of us are staff members with GlobeMed at WashU. We headed to Uganda to intern with GlobeMed at WashU’s partner organization, Uganda Development & Health Associates (also known as UDHA). We have been partnered with UDHA ever since our chapter formed in 2008, and have been sending interns every summer since! GlobeMed at WashU supports UDHA in two of their projects, the first is a Youth Resource Center located in Iganga focused on improving adolescent sexual and reproductive health. The second is a Nutrition project located in Naigobya that aims to reduce the rate of under-5 child mortality by training community health workers to set up community gardens and teach other community members about healthy nutritional practices. Sasha and Emily are thrilled to be spending the next 2 months in Iganga at the Youth Resource Center, and Jess and Haley are getting geared up to spend their time in Naigobya, about an hour from Iganga, working with the Nutrition project. Permanent staff members at UDHA, Dr. Isiko and Dr. Waiswa will generously host us. We are all super excited and ready to get to Uganda, start working with UDHA, and learn about the incredible culture and traditions!
Why Did We Go?
Primarily, we went to intern with UDHA to strengthen our partnership. As an organization, GlobeMed believes strongly in the partnership model as a tool for improving global health equity. As one of UDHA’s partners, we strove to improve upon our individual and group bonds with UDHA staff members as well as members of the communities that UDHA serves. In addition, we expanded our own opinions and perspectives on global health. The name of our internship is GROW, which stands for grassroots onsite work. It is important to all of us that this is not a service trip or a missionary trip, but an internship with an organization founded by local Ugandans, working to improve the health and daily lives of people living in Uganda. We are not there to teach, to preach or to share our own personal opinions-we are there to help out in ways that UDHA sees fit and to form lasting and meaningful relationships. And lastly of course we experienced a different part of the world in order to make our experiences in GlobeMed and at school real. We all study different aspects of communities and health at WashU, and our internship in Uganda will without a doubt build upon the things that we are passionate about and choose to study.