Juan Zuniga – Mejia
ASST. FEATURES EDITOR
Whittier College will be sending Poet volunteers to Honduras to support communities in need through the Global Medical Brigade (GMB). This is a student-operated volunteer organization which aims to assist communities throughout the world. This May, the College will be sending students and professionals to gather supplies, fundraise money, and help bring healthcare and health education to communities in Honduras.
According to the GMB’s official website, their mission is to “empower volunteers and under-resourced communities to resolve global health and economic disparities and inspire all involved to collaboratively work towards an equal world.”
The College hopes that students who volunteer with this organization will be able to obtain a first-hand experience in medicine and a beneficial volunteer abroad experience. Poets who attend this trip will immerse themselves in Honduran culture while gaining knowledge about the many health disparities throughout the world,” said second-year and GMB member Jasmin Cao.
The organization provides Poets an insight and hands-on experience in medical techniques and practices while working in a major professional setting. In Honduras, participants will be able to engage and shadow licensed pharmacists, doctors, and other medical professionals as they tend to patients. Students will also be able to give health education to citizens, such as teaching younger children in the communities about proper teeth brushing techniques.
“Over 60 percent of people living in Honduras live in poverty and have limited access to healthcare,” said Cao. “Thus, during a one-week medical brigade, a team of students and health professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, and dentists will help set up a free, temporary clinic to help provide medical care for the people in Honduras.”
While the College sends volunteers to aid communities in Honduras, communities in the City of Whittier can aid the GMB’s mission with fundraising. To further support the GMB’s cause, a donation can be made at their GoFundMe page. They also have a donation site on their official page at globalbrigades.org. The organization aims to make $29,700 in donations, and currently they have raised over $3,000. Donations from these funds are spent towards medical equipment, electronic patient records for future visits, and other sanitation projects, such as their clean water project.
Whittier College provides several opportunities for students to explore their interests, embrace new experiences, and help make a difference. The Global Medical Brigade is only one of those differences that supports students who study in the medical field to have a first look at medical practices with communities in dire need.