Do any of you know college freshmen or sophomores who might be interested and/or a good fit to start a GlobeMed chapter at their university? GlobeMed just launched the 2011 GlobeMed chapter founder application process (www.imagine2030.org), with the hopes of selecting new chapter founders next February to expand the network from 33 chapters to 50 by Fall 2011. (check out this link to see a list of current chapters).
You all are super important to this expansion – by nominating a friend/individual, you have a say in how you want this network to grow and who you want to be in it. The partner search fellowship program is kicking off in January – two GlobeMed alum will be traveling through southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam) to find new grassroots health orgs, and we need to find equally kickass students to support them in a GlobeMed partnership.
Before winter break:
1. Nominate a friend/individual, send their full name, university, e-mail address and year in school to firstname.lastname@example.org. Then GlobeMed will send them an email telling them about the leadership opportunity to see if they want to apply.
2. Post this video (http://vimeo.com/16860424) up on your facebook today and over the next couple of weeks to get the word out to your friends! The majority of our 2010 class of chapter founders found out about the opportunity from current GlobeMed students.
Thanks for all your help! Start spreadin’ the movement
This weekend I had the great opportunity to go the first ever GlobeMed Hilltop, up at UNC Chapel Hill. We spent the weekend meeting GlobeMedders from all over the region, listening to guest speakers, and having great discussions about different issues in Global Health and development as well as chapter practices.
Just like the summit in Chicago last year, this was an amazing expirience where I met some amazing people and got to know our network even more. I had the great pleasure of meeting some of the awesome people from Penn State, GWU, UNC, and U Mich along with many others.
With the weekend gone, I am getting back to work on this mountain of everything that is always piling up. Those weekends are great to remind me what I am working toward and re-energize me. Anyway thanks to everyone at UNC Chapel Hill for pulling off some amazing stuff and creating such a wonderful weekend
So recently posted up on facebook and emailed to me from various GlobeMed members and friends was a link to an article in the NYT magazine regarding Do-it-yourself foreign aid revolution and how it has been growing exponentially and showing very concrete results. The article was by the Op-Ed Columnist Nicholas Kristof and can be found here.
First off, let me say that the article does an amazing job at moving the reader, giving great examples of 3 or 4 organizations that were started by individuals who devoted their lives to changing others’. He also references other organizations in passing such as the Central Asian Institute which also gives me a nostalgic feel when I hear it mentioned. Stories like these empower people and are the reason that many of us want to get involved in development and the non-profits.
Unfortunately, many were quick to point out that these stories were in fact mainly inspirational feel good stories; the bubbly feeling quickly popped away and the flaws were revealed. While what Kristof was championing can be good, it does overlook a lot of things.
While being directed to the above mentioned article, I was also given links to Don’t Try This Abroad of Foreign Policy Magazine and an amazing response written by a fellow GlobeMedder from Northwestern.
The Foreign Policy response was a little too cynical for my tastes. They point out what I personally believe as well as many others in the social change movement believe, that community self-empowerment and sustainability should be a defining center piece of a movement and is one of the best ways to do good. The local community is often times comprised of the people who know the problems they are facing and know their needs best. These were american success stories of people who went to a foreign land and saved those poor people… yada yada yada we don’t always know what is in who’s best interest. In the end, the article warns about the dangers of mis-allocated foreign aid and how it’s best to “leave it to the experts”.
The GlobeMedder response was, as you can imagine, more to my liking, pointing out that being a small start up organization does not necessarily mean it’s naive and lacks foresight and also goes on to point out the necessity for community empowerment and consultation. He also mentions that all aid groups are working to a (generally) common goal and the time for a unified movement is upon us. This is not my favorite part.
In Nicaragua, I happened to notice something that I never really thought about; the politicization of non-profits and aid groups. Inter Grass Roots organizations can be harder to coordinate than they seem. Everyone is competing for the same grants, influence in communities, and not to mention the aid worker job market. Things like this can create a kind of rivalry and discourages cooperation.
Aid and philanthropic consolidation and cooperation is a daunting task, but one would hope that we would all eventually cooperate to serve the greater good. GlobeMed is a prime example of how one group can work with many other Grass root organizations and cooperate with them to further a movement toward one common goal.
If only there was some sort of social network where non-profits and philanthropic organizations, as well as volunteers could come together and meet each other to share ideas and cooperate without worrying about all the risks of idea sharing and easing up competitiveness. This was a concept I had played around with while in Nicaragua and now it actually looks like it may exist.
One of the Facebook Co-Founder’s recently started up this website called Jumo.com. Which will in fact be a social networking site designed to match various users with social organizations to do the most good. A more in depth review of the website’s plans can be found here.
As a new wave of innovation and social change advocates gains momentum, sites like Jumo and writers like Kristof, David Algoso of Foreign Policy, and our GlobeMed comrade Neal will guide the discussion and emphasis of the new revolution. I hope everyone is listening.
So this most recent weekend, was probably one of the more fun weekends I have had in a long time. On Friday me and Ryan threw our first party (& kegger)!! It went really well and also doubled as a fund raiser for hurricane relief for Nicaragua. We raised over $300 and the party was an amazing success.
The next morning after hours of hangovers, we began to prepare for the GlobeMed staff retreat. We left for Shelby Forrest around 3 and spent the afternoon doing team building stuff and cooking burgers. We really only had a couple non-E-board members there so we are rescheduling the retreat. We still had a lot of fun and as it got dark we set up the tent and began to build a fire for s’mores. Eventually only Ryan, Shannon, Sarah, and I were the only ones that spent the night. Sunday was mainly spent driving home and napping.
Shelby Forrest was pretty nice, even though it was more like a camper park, it was still really fun. I haven’t gone camping in a long time and the whole weekend was a blast, even though it would have been a little more beneficial to get some more work done. Ah well, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing now anyway. Alright, hopefully these posts will get better, hope you enjoyed hearing about my weekend as much as I enjoyed it.